Mimesis, Friendship, and Moral Development in Aristotle’s Ethics

Mimesis, Friendship, and Moral Development in Aristotle’s Ethics Abstract The significance of imitation for moral development during childhood, in Aristotle’s ethics, has been recognized and studied. However, what role does imitation play in the morally mature agent’s character development? In this paper, I argue that moral development is possible for the advanced moral agent, when she imitates her character-friend. But the mature agent’s imitation is of a thoroughly different type than the imitation of the young moral agent; the mature imitation mechanism is selective and interpretative. The agent selects from the goodness in her friend, depending on the agent’s own sensitivities, and adopts this goodness as a pattern that allows for personalized implementations, depending on her own dispositions and skills. In this way, the morally mature agent develops her moral character by enriching her epistemic tools and experience within the spectrum of the good. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Rhizomata de Gruyter

Mimesis, Friendship, and Moral Development in Aristotle’s Ethics

Rhizomata, Volume 3 (2) – Dec 1, 2015

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by the
ISSN
2196-5102
eISSN
2196-5110
DOI
10.1515/rhiz-2015-0007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract The significance of imitation for moral development during childhood, in Aristotle’s ethics, has been recognized and studied. However, what role does imitation play in the morally mature agent’s character development? In this paper, I argue that moral development is possible for the advanced moral agent, when she imitates her character-friend. But the mature agent’s imitation is of a thoroughly different type than the imitation of the young moral agent; the mature imitation mechanism is selective and interpretative. The agent selects from the goodness in her friend, depending on the agent’s own sensitivities, and adopts this goodness as a pattern that allows for personalized implementations, depending on her own dispositions and skills. In this way, the morally mature agent develops her moral character by enriching her epistemic tools and experience within the spectrum of the good.

Journal

Rhizomatade Gruyter

Published: Dec 1, 2015

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