AuthorRogers, Tristan John
AdvisorRussell, Daniel C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 06-Sep-2019
AbstractRosalind Hursthouse, Mark LeBar, Martha Nussbaum, and other contemporary philosophers have brought virtue ethics into conversation with political philosophy. These philosophers agree with Aristotle that the function of political authority is to enable persons to live well. But we still lack an account of how the virtues, as characteristics of persons, relate to political authority as a property of institutions. I argue that the authority of political institutions depends on performing the function of enabling persons to live well, while the virtues require, but also limit, the authority of political institutions. According to the account I develop, living well consists in the exercise of practical wisdom within a socially embedded institutional context. Political institutions enable living well by means of institutionally defined rights such as property rights that protect the exercise of practical wisdom, and they promote its development through the institutions of civil society such as the family. But, I argue, political authority is limited by the individual virtue of justice, understood as balancing conformity to the existing social norms and laws of a community with their necessary updating through ideals of virtue. Ultimately, I conclude that political authority properly functions to promote an indirect conception of the common good, according to which persons relate to each other virtuously through their shared institutions.
Degree ProgramGraduate College