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Fallen Man In Search Of Virtue

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Chapter Summary

In Aristotle's view, virtues are gradually acquired at a youthful age and later form stead fast habits which provide internal harmony and enable human individuals to act easily and with pleasure in accordance with their moral insights. Even so, there can be no doubt that virtue is intimately connected in medieval moral thought with the suppression of sin. Exploring this connection in relation to the cardinal virtues in particular is the aim of the chapter. It shows that two different ways of constructing the opposition between the virtues and the vices coexisted in medieval moral thought, which each involve a particular approach to the moral subject. The chapter explores some further consequences of the account of the Fall for medieval moral thought. It argues that the Christian conception of the moral subject set a number of specific limits to the medieval receptivity to Aristotelian virtue theory in particular.

Keywords: Aristotle; medieval moral thought; virtue



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