Last week, 4 of our scholars—Howard Nusbaum, David Carr, John Haldane, and Robert C. Roberts–and our 2 Principal Investigators, Jennifer Frey and Candace Vogler, all participated in a conference on Character, Wisdom, and Virtue held January 5, 6, and 7, 2017 at Oriel College, Oxford, UK, sponsored by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham, UK. We are pleased to feature their abstracts and papers here on the Virtue Blog for the next few days, with many thanks to the Jubilee Centre. http://jubileecentre.ac.uk
Robert C. Roberts is Professor of Ethics and Emotion Theory at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, and has a joint Chair with the Royal Institute of Philosophy. Professor Roberts received his Ph.D from Yale University in 1974 and has taught at Western Kentucky University (1973–1984), Wheaton College (1984–2000), and Baylor University (2000–2015), where he retains Resident Scholar status in the Institute for Studies of Religion. He has received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy of Religion. He is currently a recipient, with Michael Spezio, of a grant from the Self, Motivation, and Virtue Project at the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing at the University of Oklahoma, for a study of “Humility in Loving Encounter.”
Below you will find his short abstract, followed by a link to the larger paper discussed at the conference, “Emotions and Practical Wisdom.”
ABSTRACT: “Emotions and Practical Wisdom”
Practical wisdom connects with emotions in at least three ways. First, the perceptions most perfectly characteristic of practical wisdom, whether spontaneous intuitions or results of deliberation, are either emotions or virtual emotions. Second, practical wisdom is a power of judging emotions — one’s own and other people’s. In relation to one’s own emotions, it is an ability to recognize one’s emotions as morally fit or unfit and to understand what is right or wrong about them. As to others’ emotions, practical wisdom turns largely on sympathy, which in turn depends on a breadth of emotional dispositions in oneself and good powers for assessing emotions. Third, practical wisdom is understanding of what to do to correct morally adverse emotions and to confirm oneself in morally appropriate ones, and the motivation to do so.
We are very happy to announce a new book that will be of great interest to researchers, students, and general readers concerned with the many contemporary varieties and applications of virtue ethics: Varieties of Virtue Ethics, Edited by David Carr, James Arthur, and Kristján Kristjánsson, from Palgrave Macmillan (December 2016). Edited by two of our Project Scholars, David Carr and Kristján Kristjánsson, both at the University of Birmingham Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, the book explores recent developments in ethics of virtue, and includes three essays by scholars of the project Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life.
The collection acknowledges the Aristotelian roots of modern virtue ethics, with its emphasis on the moral importance of character, while also recognizing that more recent accounts of virtue have been shaped by many other influences, such as Aquinas, Hume, Nietzsche, Hegel and Marx, and Confucius and Lao-tzu. The authors examine the influence of virtue ethics on disciplines such as psychology, sociology and theology, and also look at the wider public, professional and educational implications of virtue ethics.
Essays in the volume include a chapter by our Virtue project scholars John Haldane, who is the J. Newton Rayzor Sr. Distinguished Chair in Philosophy at Baylor University, on “Virtue Ethics in the Medieval Period;” our Principal Investigator Candace Vogler, the David E. and Clara B. Stern Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago on “Virtue, the Common Good, and Self-Transcendence; ” Robert C. Roberts, Professor of Ethics and Emotion Theory at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, and a joint Chair with the Royal Institute of Philosophy, on “Varieties of Virtue Ethics;” and David Carr, Professor Emeritus, University of Edinburgh and Professor of Ethics and Education, University of Birmingham Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, on “Educating for the Wisdom of Virtue.”
Philosopher Robert C. Roberts will join the group of scholars affiliated with the project Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life (VHML). Roberts’ research focuses on ethics (especially virtue ethics), Kierkegaard, emotion theory, moral psychology, and epistemology.
Kristján Kristjánsson, fellow VHML Scholar and colleague at the Jubilee Centre for Character Education and Virtue Ethics, praises Roberts, saying “He is a leading light in research into how emotional traits can be understood as virtuous, either in the Aristotelian or Christian traditions, and how feeling the right things towards the right people at the right times is an indispensable part of the well-rounded, meaningful life. He has published two (out of three pre-planned) major works with CUP on the emotions and the good life, and is in the process of completing the trilogy. He has also written extensively about virtue epistemology and the intellectual virtues.”
Roberts is Professor of Ethics and Emotion Theory at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, and has a joint Chair with the Royal Institute of Philosophy. He is currently a recipient, with Michael Spezio, of a grant from the Self, Motivation, and Virtue Project at the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing at the University of Oklahoma, for a study of Humility in Loving Encounter. Read more about Roberts here.
Says Roberts, “I have broad interests in the nature of human virtue and flourishing, especially in the ways that Christian faith and the affective life bear on them. My current work is in the ethics and psychology of humility. This group of scholars promises a great deal of stimulation in these matters because of its combining of psychology, philosophical ethics, and theology.”