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Intelligent Virtue

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Intelligent Virtue presents a distinctive new account of virtue and happiness as central ethical ideas. Annas argues that exercising a virtue involves practical reasoning of a kind which can illuminatingly be compared to the kind of reasoning we find in someone exercising a practical skill. Rather than asking at the start how virtues relate to rules, principles, maximizing, or a ...more
Hardcover, 189 pages
Published April 28th 2011 by OUP Oxford
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  65 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is one of the best overviews of virtue theory. Annas presents a Aristotelian account that is clearly sympathetic to Stoicism at points. One of the most interesting examples concerns the way that practical reasoning about virtues places one in a type of community with others who reason about the same virtues. This suggests the potential for a virtue-based cosmopolitanism that does not eschew an Aristotelian focus on particulars.

Her discussion of the skill analogy - the comparison of virtues
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enlightening. I’d recommend to all.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Happiness in a eudaimonist account is what I come to when I start asking about my life, how it is going and how I can achieve better. Happiness is my happiness, the way I live my life; only I can achieve my happiness, because only I can live my life, and happiness won't result from some plan imposed on me from outside my own reflections.

Annas provides are very readable and helpful account of virtue ethics, largely relying on an analogy with practical skills like learning a language or instrument. This a
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
A clear analysis of contemporary virtue theory. But the book lacks any art or style. Having read Iris Murdoch just before, Annas' treatment really suffers by comparison. I go ahead and give it three stars though because the thoughts are clearly and convincingly stated.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Clear, concise, compelling. I predict that this will turn out to be influential for me in a big way.
Shea Levy
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ethics, undirected
Annas presents a bottom-up account of virtue and happiness, drawing heavily on an analogy with skill (so heavily that it may well be an identification). Rather than starting with an abstract definition of foundational terms and teasing out implications from there, Annas takes as her starting point our normal experiences with virtue and moral reflection and explores the features these concepts have. The goal is not to promote a specific ethical theory; indeed, many aspects of the discussion are l ...more
Dec 21, 2011 rated it liked it
It's a little difficult to rate this since virtue ethics isn't my cup of tea. This book didn't really make it any more likely for me to make it my cup of tea. The theory strikes me as very thin and her main idea about happiness, eudaimonia, is left frustratingly nebulous as some kind of ultimate 'aim' in life. I don't think she succeeds, either, in telling us why certain things ought to be valued other than saying that virtuous people ought to be admired and imitated. But what makes a person vir ...more
Walker Wright
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Adam Gurri
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Masterful. If I had to choose one book on virtue ethics to recommend to someone unfamiliar with it, this would be a top contender.
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“We find the important similarity of virtue to skill in skills where two things are united: the need to learn and the drive to aspire.” 1 likes
“It seems worthwhile, then, to begin with virtue, rather than with a type of ethical theory, and to see what kind of account can be produced.” 0 likes
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