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In defence of an exemplarist approach to virtue education

Michel Croce


This paper explores the educational implications of Linda Zagzebski’s recent Exemplarist Moral Theory. It purports to do so by comparing what I consider to be the basics of an exemplar-based educational approach with the standard approach to virtue formation, as it has been proposed by Steven Porter. After introducing four traditional strategies for fostering virtue formation in the young, I briefly summarize Zagzebski’s view and shed light on the educational principles that the view entails. Then, I discuss some common features and relevant differences between an exemplar-based educational approach and the standard approach. Finally, I attempt to defend both views against a couple of recent objections.


virtue; moral education; exemplarism; Linda Zagzebski

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