The Structure of Virtue

Julia Annas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


This chapter examines two issues relative to providing a rich notion of virtue of epistemology: (i) the connection between virtue and skill; and (ii) the relation of virtue to success. It argues that ancient virtue ethicists - regarding virtue ethics - differ from Aristotle in ways that are significant to how the concept of virtue should be applied in epistemology. It also argues for the important differences between intellectual virtues (which aim at truth) and moral virtues (which aim at doing the right thing). The upshot is two-fold: intellectual virtues should not be subsumed under moral virtues and there is an inherent difficulty in trying to define knowledge in terms of virtue. Lastly, because scholars have overly relied upon Aristotle's version of virtue, and thus, neglected much of the ancient tradition, the chapter argues that many have missed a more plausible answer, provided by the Stoics, to the following question: Which kind of aim must be attained for a person to have the kind of success necessary for virtue?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIntellectual Virtue
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from Ethics and Epistemology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191719288
ISBN (Print)0199252734, 9780199252732
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010


  • Ancient tradition
  • Aristotle
  • Intellectual virtue
  • Julia annas
  • Knowledge
  • Moral virtues
  • Skill of living
  • Stoics
  • Telos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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