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The aesthetics of ethics: exemplarism, beauty, and the psychology of morality

Paris, Panos ORCID: 2022. The aesthetics of ethics: exemplarism, beauty, and the psychology of morality. Journal of Value Inquiry 56 , pp. 601-625. 10.1007/s10790-020-09793-8

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Linda Zagzebski recently defended moral exemplarism, a new moral theory on which key moral terms are defined by direct reference to exemplars.Footnote1 The theory is meant as an alternative to theories like consequentialism and deontology and promises not only to contribute to unity and simplicity in ethical theory, but also to offer an account of, and practicable pathways to moral motivation and education, whilst serving as a bridge between philosophical and empirical investigations of morality. The theory’s basic structure is straightforward. A virtuous person is defined as a person like that, where that points to individuals like Leopold Socha, Confucius, Jesus Christ, etc. A key component of this theory is the function played by the emotions, specifically the emotion of admiration, which, Zagzebski thinks, helps us identify moral exemplars, inspires the emulation of them, and grounds moral motivation. In other words, admiration tracks persons like that and drives us to emulate them.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 0022-5363
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 12 December 2020
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 22:37

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