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Dilemmas and the unity of virtues: the phronesis as moral and existential integrator

Maria Silvia Vaccarezza


In this paper, I aim at showing practical wisdom’s integrating and orchestrating role by referring to the two intertwined debates on the nature of moral dilemmas and on the unity or reciprocity of virtues. Against the widespread idea that the virtues may generate conflicting moral requirements, I will outline a conception which accounts for the virtues’ compatibility and mutual dependence. In order to defend this view, I will propose an account of Aristotelian phronesis (practical wisdom) conceived as a moral integrator and sovereign virtue, capable of integrating and prioritizing values. by doing so, I will be in a position to defend a revised version of the unity of the virtues thesis.


moral dilemmas; unity of the virtues; phronesis; Aristotelian virtue ethics

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