Nancy Sherman


The Fabric of Character:
Aristotle's Theory of Virtue

By Nancy Sherman
Oxford University Press | ISBN 0198239173

Most traditional accounts of Aristotle's theory of ethical education neglect its cognitive aspects. This book asserts that, in Aristotle's view, excellence of character comprises both the sentiments and practical reason. Sherman focuses particularly on four aspects of practical reason as they relate to character: moral perception, choicemaking, collaboration, and the development of those capacities in moral education. Throughout the book, she is sensitive to contemporary moral debates, and indicates the extent to which Aristotle's account of practical reason provides an alternative to theories of impartial reason.


"A sensible and sensitive discussion of four different aspects of Aristotle's account of practical reason....Her book deserves a wide readership among Aristotle specialists."

"'The Shared Life' gives one of the most complete and sympathetic analyses of Aristotle's views of friendship available in English....'The Habituation of Chararcter,' [is] a very clear and apparently correct account of ethismos.....I recommend these chapters to anyone interested in gaining a broader perspective on Aristotle's ethical theory....The book is interesting, well-argued, and well-documented, and provides a valuable new slant on several parts of Aristotle's ethical theory."
--International Studies in Philosophy

"A lively and engaging contribution....Her own style is warm and fluent, and wins the reader over without drawing attention to itself....Her book deploys an insight and authenticity that refresh one's attention to familiar texts."
--Ancient Philosophy

"[An] exemplary study....A well-argued and sympathetic interpretation of Aristotle's ethical theory, valuable to anyone interested in ethical theory at the upper undergraduate level and above, especially educators."
--Classical World

"Engaging and perceptive....Her accounts of moral sensitivity, practical reason, and the building of character by an agent...are fascinating and soundly based on interpretation of the texts."
--Times Higher Education Supplement