Virtue for Pluralists

in Journal of Moral Philosophy
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Have Institutional Access?

Login with your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Liberal or democratic virtue theories have successfully spread the idea that liberal democracies cannot flourish unless their citizens have certain qualities of mind and character. Such theories cannot agree, however, on what those qualities are. This article attempts to explain and solve this problem. It proposes distinguishing between core virtues, necessary for the actual survival of liberal democracies, and ideal virtues, which promote “progress” according to a given conception of what liberal democracies ought to be about and which values they should most embody. Beyond this, it portrays the relevant virtues as pluralistic (not everyone need have the same ones) and episodic (different virtues are relevant at different times and under different circumstances). It then applies this framework to some key issues of political action and motivation: acts of loyalty and dissent express different aspects of a common response to moral pluralism, and the virtues of citizens differ fundamentally in origin and nature from those of professional politicians. Finally, it suggests more briefly that questions of civil religion, patriotic mobilization in times of war, civic courage, and selfish versus altruistic motives for public action can profit from being seen in this new way.

Virtue for Pluralists

in Journal of Moral Philosophy
Index Card
Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 47 44 16
Full Text Views 118 118 5
PDF Downloads 26 26 7
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0