Exemplarism: Some Considerations
DOI link for Exemplarism: Some Considerations
Exemplarism: Some Considerations book
Reference to or analysis of moral exemplars typically plays only a subordinate role in moral philosophy. Since moral norms are widely understood to be grounded in some deeper or universal feature of reality, whether it be divine command, the nature of rationality itself, or the moral sentiments, moral exemplars appear, if they appear at all, primarily for illustrative purposes, to highlight salient aspects of the theory or to motivate us to achieve what the theory recommends. It is possible to ask, however, whether exemplars might be understood to play a more central role in moral philosophy, and even whether it makes sense to base a moral philosophy on exemplars. Some moral theories, most obviously those informed by the virtue tradition of Aristotle, do accord exemplars such a larger role, though they do so in diff erent ways. Are they right to do so?