Though virtue ethics is enjoying a resurgence, the topic of virtue cultivation has been largely neglected by philosophers. This volume remedies this gap, featuring mostly new essays, commissioned for this collection, by philosophers, theologians, and psychologists at the forefront of research into virtue. Each contribution focuses on some aspect of virtue development, either by highlighting virtue cultivation within distinctive traditions of ethical or religious thought, or by taking a developmental perspective to yield fresh insights into criticisms of virtue ethics, or by examining the science that explains virtue development. The essays by Russell and Driver investigate virtue cultivation or problems associated with it from Aristotelian and utilitarian perspectives. Slote addresses virtue development from the sentimentalist standpoint. Swanton and Cureton and Hill explore self-improvement, the former with an eye to offering solutions to critiques of virtue ethics, the latter from a Kantian ethical vantage point. Slingerland examines contemporary psychology as well as virtue development in the Confucian tradition to counter situationist criticisms of virtue ethics.
Flanagan, Bucar, and Herdt examine how virtue is cultivated in the Buddhist, Islamic, and Christian traditions, respectively. Narvaez, Thompson, and McAdams offer descriptive insights from psychology into virtue development. The result is a collection of extremely creative essays that not only fills the current gap but also promises to stimulate new work on a philosophically neglected yet vital topic.