The Virtues of Taking Time, Taking Time for the Virtues

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Association for Interdisciplinary Studies


The virtues are now of central concern to most ethicists. But confusions arise when important virtues like "justice" are discussed without reference to the narrative traditions (e.g., Christian or Libertarian) which give real context and specificity to virtues. Whatever one's narrative tradition, the virtues it elaborates and nurtures will only be vital if adherents of that tradition have the capacity for taking time for one another. The virtues are "a language" that enables us to describe our lives. Without time-consuming conversations (with fellow adherents and non-adherents) the self will remain either incompletely defined or self-deceived. The good life within a narrative tradition is a well-crafted life, one focused more on ends than means, a life of attentiveness rather than distraction. Invoking Neil Postman, Mother Theresa and other critics of American mass culture, the author describes the barriers placed before those who would take time for the virtues.




Jones, L. Gregory. "The Virtues of Taking Time, Taking Time for the Virtues." Issues in Integrative Studies 11 (1993): 83-95.