Steve Makin: "Moral Development and Self-Knowledge in Aristotle"

Steve Makin (Sheffield): Moral Development and Self-Knowledge in Aristotle". Listen to the talk here.


Aristotle emphasises the role of habituation in our acquiring moral virtues, as well as other abilities. I discuss an independently engaging problem concerning the acquisition of abilities through practice, formulated in the context of Aristotle’s account of virtue development. The problem consists in a tension between two plausible claims, one [A] concerning what is required for an agent to be acting on a decision, the other [B] concerning the view a novice should have of whether they could ever possible be making the decisions required for moral development. I recommend a solution: the self-blind novice response. That solution implies that self-blindness should be pervasive among Aristotelian moral developers. And that implication is confirmed by the fact that the necessarily rare state of self-aware expertise is an important part of the Aristotelian virtue of magnanimity.