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Hursthouse, Rosalind, , . Normative Virtue Ethics
1996, in Roger Crisp (ed.), How Should One Live? Essays on the Virtues. Oxford University Press. 19-36.
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Added by: Nick Novelli, Contributed by:

Abstract: Shows that virtue ethics can specify right action and defends the view that the sort of practical guidance it provides accommodates several conditions of adequacy that any normative ethics should meet. It is argued that (1) it generates an account of moral education, (2) it incorporates the view that moral wisdom cannot simply be acquired from textbooks, and (3) it can resolve resolvable dilemmas or moral conflicts but is not committed in advance to there being no such things as irresolvable dilemmas.

Introduction: A common belief concerning virtue ethics is that it does not tell us what we should do. This belief is sometimes manifested merely in the expressed assumption that virtue ethics, in being ‘agent-centred’ rather than ‘act-centred’, is concerned with Being rather than Doing, with good (and bad) character rather than right (and wrong) action, with the question ‘What sort of person should I be?’ rather than the question ‘What should I do?’ On this assumption, ‘virtue ethics’ so-called does not figure as a normative rival to utilitarian and deontological ethics. Anyone who wants to espouse virtue ethics as a rival to deon­tological or utilitarian ethics will find this common belief voiced against her as an objection: ‘Virtue ethics does not, because it can­not, tell us what we should do. Hence it cannot be a normative rival to deontology and utilitarianism.’ This paper is devoted to defending virtue ethics against this objection.

Comment: This is an easy-to-understand, concise argument in favour of the viability of virtue ethics. It is a useful illustration of the practical application of Aristotelian moral theory and would aid students understanding of that type of view and its implications if assigned as a supplement. Easy to understand even for those relatively unfamiliar with the issues, it is suitable as part of a first introduction to virtue ethics for undergraduates.

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Ryan, Sharon, , . What is Wisdom?
1999, Philosophical Studies, 93: 119-139
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Added by: Giada Fratantonio, Contributed by:

Introduction: What is wisdom? Remarkably few contemporary analytic philosophers have proposed an answer to this ancient question. I think the question is interesting and deserves some careful attention. In this paper, I will present and evaluate several analyses of wisdom. I will then defend my own analysis of wisdom.

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Ryan, Sharon, , . Wisdom
1996, Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
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Added by: Giada Fratantonio, Contributed by:

Introduction: What is wisdom? Philosophers, psychologists, spiritual leaders, poets, novelists, life coaches, and a variety of other important thinkers have tried to understand the concept of wisdom. This entry will provide a brief and general overview, and analysis of, several philosophical views on the topic of wisdom. It is not intended to capture the many interesting and important approaches to wisdom found in other fields of inquiry. Moreover, this entry will focus on several major ideas in the Western philosophical tradition. In particular, it will focus on five general approaches to understanding what it takes to be wise: (1) wisdom as epistemic humility, (2) wisdom as epistemic accuracy, (3) wisdom as knowledge, (4) a hybrid theory of wisdom, and (5) wisdom as rationality.

Comment: Excellent entry on the epistemology of wisdom. Essential as background reading.

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Ryan, Sharon, , . Wisdom, Knowlegde and Rationality
2012, Acta Analytica, 27(2): 99-112.
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Added by: Giada Fratantonio, Contributed by:

Abstract: After surveying the strengths and weaknesses of several well-known approaches to wisdom, I argue for a new theory of wisdom that focuses on being epistemically, practically, and morally rational. My theory of wisdom, The Deep Rationality Theory of Wisdom, claims that a wise person is a person who is rational and who is deeply committed to increasing his or her level of rationality. This theory is a departure from theories of wisdom that demand practical and/or theoretical knowledge. The Deep Rationality Theory salvages all that is attractive, and avoids all that is problematic, about theories of wisdom that require wise people to be knowledgeable.

Comment: Very good as background reading on the topic of wisdom, particulary in the first ha;f of the paper where the author offers a good overview of the main theories of wisdom that could be classified into three categories: i) the ones focusing on epistemic humility, ii) the ones focusing on acquisition of knowledge, iii) the ones focusin on well living.

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Tiberius, Valerie, , . Constructivism and Wise Judgment
2012, in Lenman, J. and Shemmer, Y. (eds.) Constructivism in Practical Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 195-212.
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Added by: Carl Fox, Contributed by:

Abstract: In this paper I introduce a version of constructivism that relies on a theory of practical wisdom. Wise judgment constructivism is a type of constructivism because it takes correct judgments about what we have “all-in” reason to do to be the result of a process we can follow, where our interest in the results of this process stems from our practical concerns. To fully defend the theory would require a comprehensive account of wisdom, which is not available. Instead, I describe a constructivist methodology for defending an account of wisdom and outline its main features. This gives us enough to see what wise judgment constructivism would look like, why it might be an attractive theory, and how it is different from other versions of constructivism.

Comment: Original and illuminating approach to constructivism. Particularly suited to further or specialised reading.

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