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Anger and the virtues: a critical study in virtue individuation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

Ryan West*
Department of Philosophy, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA


Aristotle and others suggest that a single virtue – ‘good temper’ – pertains specifically to anger. I argue that if good temper is a single virtue, it is constituted by aspects of a combination of other virtues. I present three categories of anger-relevant virtues – those that (potentially) dispose one to anger; those that delay, mitigate, and qualify anger; and those required for effortful anger control – and show how virtues in each category make distinct contributions to good temper. In addition to clarifying the relationship between anger and the virtues, my analysis has theoretical implications for virtue individuation more generally, and practical implications for character cultivation.

Copyright © The Authors 2016

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