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Friday, January 17, 2014

Which Beliefs Contribute to Virtuous Behavior?

By Christian Miller
Big Questions Online
June 15, 2012 (and still relevant today)

Which beliefs contribute to virtuous behavior? In other words, which beliefs can we form to make it more likely that we act virtuously in the future – more honestly, more compassionately, more courageously, more humbly, and the like? In this brief essay, I will propose four different answers, but I want to stress that these are not the only ones that could be given. I have included them only because these answers repeatedly show up in my own reading of research in psychology and philosophy.

First we should note that our question is asking specifically about beliefs. Beliefs are not the only mental states worth mentioning – desires and emotions are also incredibly important to virtuous behavior (but will have to wait for another essay).

The entire story is here.

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