Virtue and Attitude

In my article ‘Virtue and Classical Education‘, I contrast modern and ancient understandings of virtue. In the historic understanding, virtue includes actions but is rooted in attitude. And while attitude includes emotion, it also involves so much more, namely having dispositions tuned to reality in a special sort of way. To have virtuous attitudes and emotions is to instinctively recoil from what is base and disgusting. To have virtuous attitudes is to be the sort of person who is nourished by beauty instead of triviality, who instinctively has a fitting response to what is lovely and awe-inspiring. It is to be able to go out into the world with a sense of wonder towards all that is lovely and awe-inspiring, and to derive genuine enjoyment from what is good, true, and beautiful.

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