18 juillet 2010

The Case for Improvement

Once we appreciate the competing demands that face a mature moral learner, it may be Tiffany Notes band ring to discount the need to cultivate a morally worthy style, and so it is important to assess briefly just what is at stake here. Why should style command attention as an important domain that deserves some measure of our finite energies? While a poorly styled demeanor may not produce the best display of virtue, is there anything wrong with it? If one's actions and dispositions are proper for the circumstances in which they are situated, does a failure in style constitute an ethical failure? I believe that Confucius would claim that it does, that in some measure appearing inappropriate is inappropriate and that we have some burden to avoid the semblance of impropriety.16

Confucius' most explicit treatment of the intersection of substance and style occurs in Analects 2.8, where Confucius claims that filiality requires managing the face. Confucius, it seems clear, targets the dispositions as a necessary element of self-cultivation. Children who serve their parents without the attitudinal and emotive dispositions that inform the virtue of filiality cannot properly be called filial. Yet while the dispositions must be cultivated, it is the appearance in one's countenance that Confucius here emphasizes. It matters to Confucius that parents know their children to be willing performers of filial actions, and this is known through the demeanor, the ''look and feel'' of what children do. Moreover, where we consider the foundation and aims of Confucius' broader ethical vision, it seems clear that we have some obligation to notify others of the propriety of our dispositional states, to give them reasons to recognize our actions as Tiffany 1837 Lock bracelet.

The appearance of virtue is particularly important where one of the aims of virtue is the fostering and preservation of robust moral communities. As Julia Driver observes, an otherwise moral action that bears a resemblance to the immoral is easily prey to misconstrual by others for whom one's actions may operate as a model. My appearing less than virtuous may encourage others to be less than virtuous or, more subtly, may reduce the ''pressure'' in the community to be virtuous.17 Where we adopt providing a good example as one of our moral responsibilities- and Confucius does see this as a responsibility-we must take care to avoid the appearance of impropriety. More immediately, quite apart from where we may lead others is a concern with where inappropriate style may lead us. Confucius privileges roles and relationships in the formation of personal identity and consequently assigns significant emphasis to conducting oneself in ways that promote robust and thriving relationships, Elsa Peretti Teardrop ring with one's family and intimates. Losing the good opinion of relevant others thus matters more here than it would in a more individualistic account of the person. There is far less consolation available for a stubbornly purist or private self-satisfaction in knowing myself to be good while others mistak- enly believe me to be bad.18 While such an outcome is perhaps sometimes unavoidable, I have an interest in avoiding it where I can. Where I fail to promote flourishing relations or, more severely, prompt alienation from others, my own potential for realizing myself within the community is damaged. To return to my example, where poorly expressed gratitude is taken as sullenness, those who extend their affection through gifts will find less incentive to extend themselves, in this or other ways, and the landscape of the relation and who we can become within it is altered for the worse. Indeed, we may even say that the world has altered for the worse.



Posté par rings718 à 09:30 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

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