Dao
, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 309-321
Date: 14 Jul 2010

Virtue Ethics and Being Morally Moved

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Abstract

This essay shall discuss the moral feeling of “being morally moved” (daode gandong 道德感动) and explore its philosophical significances in understanding the nature of virtue ethics, especially that of Confucian ethics as exemplary ethics. I would like to argue that the feeling of being morally moved, similar to other feelings such as resentment or indignation, should be seen as one of the most important testimonies or manifestations of our morality or moral consciousness. It has played a very important role of moral judgment and moral cultivation in the history of Chinese moral philosophy and in its everyday moral practices. Instead of being a testimony of morality as cold laws or norms, “being morally moved” is a testimony to our moral virtues, and it should be a living motive of our moral actions as well.