Wat kan een wijsgerige ethiek met theologale deugden? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 106, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244


In the early days of the revival of virtue ethics (in Germany and France since the beginning of the 20th century, in the Anglophone world since the 19-fifties) the ‘theological’ or ‘Christian virtues’ (faith, hope and charity) played an important role. In contemporary virtue ethics they seem to almost be forgotten outside of theology. The question is asked whether (and if: how) these virtues can be integrated in a secular moral philosophy. This seems at first hand to be very problematic, because of their definition, which states among other things that these virtues are God-given and orientated towards God. However: hypothesizing that religious conceptions are related to general human experiences, it may be worth the effort to try and also interpret these theological virtues in a philosophical theory about what makes a human life flourishing. The suggestion is made that these virtues remind us of the importance of a certain passivity or receptivity and of an transcendental openness of our conceptions of happiness.


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