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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 90, Issue 4, Fall 2016

Angela M. Knobel
Pages 621-633
DOI: 10.5840/acpq2016919101

Insight, Experience, and the Notion of “Infused” Virtue

Some contemporary virtue theorists argue that one cannot come to possess a virtue “all at once.” Linda Zagzebski, in particular, has argued that it would be logically impossible for virtue to arise in this way. This thesis, if true, poses considerable problems for the traditional Christian notion of infused virtue. This paper examines the claim that it is logically impossible for an agent to receive virtue “all at once.” While this claim stems from important insights about the nature of virtue, I argue that it does not in fact establish that infused virtue is a logical impossibility. Rather, it points to some features of virtue that a defender of the notion of infused virtue would have to accommodate.