Virtue ethics and education from late antiquity to the eighteenth century
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Introducing the theme of the volume, this chapter starts from the question posed in Plato’s Meno: can virtue be taught, and if so, how? It considers changing views on virtue from the ancient world to the Enlightenment and the role virtue, as a concept, played in social, political, and religious contexts. It highlights the differences between philosophical traditions, but stresses the relevance of the study of virtue ethics in its historical context for the understanding of societies in the premodern world. Furthermore, this chapter connects virtue ethics to other important fields of study, such as the history of emotion, gender, and social identities.
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