I am writing a thesis on the politics of virtues, and I know you have written about this.  But where?



The politics of virtues is a way of thinking about government and politics that gives a very high place to considerations of moral character.  As thoughtful people have remarked for centuries, it’s difficult to get a better government than we deserve.

Moral character cannot be the only consideration.  If the only candidate who objected to infanticide was an adulterer, I would vote for the adulterer.  But I would worry.  A man who cannot keep his marital vows is unlikely to keep his promises to the rest of the citizens.

An early, short statement of my own take on the politics of virtues may be found in my online 1994 article “Politics of Virtues, Government of Knaves.”  In passing, some of these themes are discussed and elaborated in my Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law, the online Companion to the Commentary, and my Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Virtue Ethics, although there, of course, I defer to the views of St. Thomas.

But a number of brief reflections on politics and virtue can also be found – with some repetition -- right here in the blog.  Take a look at the following:

On Kicking the Ball Down the Road” (2 August 2014)

Rules and Virtues” (19 November 2014)

The Hamburger Helper of Regime Design, Part 1 of 2” (21 November 2014)

The Hamburger Helper of Regime Design, Part 2 of 2” (22 November 2014)

Bad Man, Good Statesman” (6 January 2015)

Just Like Me” (7 January 2015)

Heroic Virtue” (11 January 2015)

The Threshold of Judgment” (23 February 2016)

The Cruise” (26 March 2016)

How Much Difference Does It Make?” (5 April 2016)

Too Much Virtue Signaling, Not Enough Virtue” (6 August 2018)

Bad Men, Revisited” (23 August 2018)

Then Are All Good Men Good Statesmen?” (25 August 2018)

What to Do While Trying Not to Overload the Camel” (3 June 2019)

I hope this gives you some ideas.  Best wishes for your research.