Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal

Volume 14, April 2021

Seyeong Hanlim
Pages 66-76

Being Moral Isn’t Quite Enough
The Role of Nonmoral Virtues in Moral Sainthood

Attempts to define morality or stress its importance are the center of ethical debates that aim to provide guidance for human life. Deviating from this goal, Susan Wolf shines a light on the significance of “nonmoral virtues” by discussing how a moral saint’s life, too immersed in morality, could be lacking in other spheres. She states that a moral saint’s life would be unattractive or dull, as one is not able to value or pursue nonmoral activities such as the arts or cooking due to one’s commitments under moral sainthood. I challenge this argument, which belittles moral sainthood in an attempt to give more credit to nonmoral qualities in life, by arguing that nonmoral virtues could be necessary and valuable for a moral saint in carrying out her duties.