Detalle Publicación

Virtue, habit and neuroscience

Título de la revista: PENSAMIENTO
ISSN: 0031-4749
Volumen: 77
Número: 295
Páginas: 501 - 510
Fecha de publicación: 2021
Neuroscience has much to offer to our understanding of human action, including its ethical dimensions. However, while neuroscience has been applied to questions of personal identity, emotion and moral decision-making, its implications for the classical notion of virtue have hardly been considered. This likely has much to do with the way in which the classical notion of virtue, together with closely related concepts of nature and habit, has been forgotten or distorted within the context of modern thought. As a consequence, the standard neuroscientific concept of habit as automatic and routine behavior is fundamentally opposed to teleological activity and thus cannot be reconciled with the classical concept of habit that is essential to virtue. The recovery of the classical notion of virtue in contemporary philosophy invites us to rethink the neuroscientific concept of habit in light of a different view of human behavior for which plasticity is not just indeterminacy but rather openness to freedom and growth.