Keynote: Mario De Caro (University of Rome), Maria Silvia Vaccarezza (University of Genoa)

24.03.2022, 5 pm (MS Teams)

Title: The Priority of Practical Wisdom: A New Paradigm in Virtue-Ethics

Most contemporary virtue-ethics theories adopt Aristotle’s view that phronesis and ethical virtues keep a balance between the two without attributing priority to one over the other. The resulting balance, however, is precarious. In fact, some scholars provide very accurate analyses of practical wisdom, of its integrating and coordinating function. Others offer equally sophisticated analyses of specific ethical virtues, ignoring the relevant issue of how, in the background, practical wisdom can coordinate them and solve their conflicts. Our talk has to two aims. First, we will make explicit the difficulties of these view in tackling the tensions between the two poles; second, we will defend a novel virtue-ethical paradigm that explicitly assigns conceptual, ontological, epistemological, and ontogenetic priority to practical wisdom, conceived as ethical expertise, without getting rid of the ethical virtues. Rather, our account – which we label “virtue molecularism” – conceives of ethical virtues as coming in clusters.

Meeting on MS Teams: here