What is a virtue, and how are virtues different from vices? Do people with virtues lead better lives than the rest of us? Do they know more? Can we acquire virtues if so, how?
In this lively and engaging introduction to this core topic, Heather Battaly argues that there is more than one kind of virtue. Some virtues make the world a better place, or help us to attain knowledge. Other virtues are dependent upon good intentions like caring about other people or about truth. Virtue is an original approach to the topic, which carefully situates the fields of virtue ethics and virtue epistemology within a general theory of virtue. It argues that there are good reasons to acquire moral and intellectual virtues virtuous people often attain greater knowledge and lead better lives. As well as approaching virtue in a novel and illuminating way, Battaly ably guides the reader through the dense literature surrounding the topic, deftly moving from important specific and technical points to more general issues and questions. The final chapter proposes strategies for helping university students acquire intellectual virtues. Battaly’s insights are complemented by entertaining examples from popular culture, literature, and film, really bringing this topic to life for readers.
Virtue is the ideal introduction to the topic. It will be an equally vital resource for students who are encountering the topic for the first time, and for scholars who are deeply engaged in virtue theory.