Kant lost sight of virtue, as did the utilitarians, even though the Greeks had placed it at the center of moral philosophy. Contemporary thinkers such as Alasdair MacIntyre have sought to recover the theme of virtue for moral philosophy, but long before they went to work Dietrich von Hildebrand had already recovered it in his phenomenological ethics.

He shows how much more there is to virtue than a habit of right moral action; he brings to light the role of the heart in virtue. He gives special attention to the virtue of reverence, which he calls the "mother of all virtues." Of particular interest is his concrete characterization of different types of virtuous and vicious characters.

Every close reader of Hildebrand finds this part of his philosophy not only intellectually satisfying, but also personally challenging, and useful for self-examination.

“The sphere of virtue is the very core of reality.”
From Ethics

Recommended Reading

See Also

Liturgy and Personality

The principal point of the book you are about to read is that the liturgy of the Church decisively shapes a healthy personality. Hildebrand insists throughout the text that the primary purpose of the liturgy is not to form the personality but to give proper praise to God, the supreme value. Nevertheless, precisely by ordering human beings to thoroughly to God, the liturgy does in fact, as a derivative effect, contribute to their flourishing. - Bishop Robert Barron | From the Foreword

Topics:Liturgy  •  Personality  •  Truth  •  Value  •  Virtue  •  Reverence

A New Concordat?

Reno, R.R. (2015), "A New Concordat", First Things: The Journal of Religion, Culture, and Public Life, January 2015

The Dietrich von Hildebrand LifeGuide

South Bend: Saint Augustine's Press, 2007. Ed. Jules van Schaijik