Gerald R. Ford Leadership Forum

The Theory and Practice of Virtue

April 23, 2022

A moral life aims at virtue, and virtue has a characteristic nature and emphases. It relates to the obligations we have in life and how we exercise those duties, and also sets standards of excellence for human beings. A virtuous person is a person of integrity; that is to say, that person has a high character where are the parts are integrated into a coherent and consistent whole. But are there limits to how we ought to think about virtue, particularly as it relates to circumstances where exercising a virtue produces undesirable outcomes? What virtues ought political leaders possess, and which ones ought they avoid?


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