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9. Virtue and Habit I

Philosophy and the Science of Human Nature (PHIL 181) We become virtuous by acting as if we are virtuous. This central insight of Aristotle is explored in this lecture. Professor Gendler begins by explaining how Aristotle's method can allow us to turn normative laws - which describe how we should act -- into descriptive laws -- which describe how we do act. But what practical strategies are available to help us turn our reflective behavior (acting as if virtuous) into automatic behavior (being virtuous)? To address this question, Professor Gendler explores a number of surprising parallels between Pavlovian conditioning of animals, successful parenting strategies, and techniques for acquiring virtue by habit. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Norms, Laws, and Habits 12:31 - Chapter 2. Aristotle on Habituation 21:37 - Chapter 3. Classical and Operant Conditioning Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: This course was recorded in Spring 2011.
Length: 40:10


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