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Philosophy in the News

Tylor Cunningham, a Philosophy Graduate Student, recently returned from a recent trip to participate in the “Virtue, Skill, and Practical Reason conference held at the University of Cape Town

Tylor Cunningham, a Philosophy Graduate Student, recently returned from a trip to Cape Town, South Africa. The recent trip was to participate in the “Virtue, Skill, and Practical Reason conference held at the University of Cape Town. Keynote speakers included Michael Thompson from the University of Pittsburgh and Rachel Barney from the University of Toronto. Tylor present his paper, “The Breakdown Between Virtuous and Virtuoso” in which he argues that the famous skill analogy for virtue in Plato and Aristotle, and recently revived in Julia Annas’ work Intelligent Virtue, is not a perfect one on the grounds of scope. Skill is importantly limited in the number of contexts and methods we can acquire knowledge and effectively apply the skill, as well as the number of elements required to practically deliberate about the use of that skill. Knowledge about virtue, on the other hand, is acquired in many more contexts, and the methods for application and the elements needed to deliberate mirror that. Practical reasoning for virtue, then, turns out to be a robust form of complex improvisation about both the skill to apply in each situation and then how to implement that skill effectively.

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