The Greatness of Humility

Joseph J. McInerney

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Barcode: 9780227176009

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The virtue of humility is a much debated subject. To many, humility is an attractive character trait in others, the opposite of pride and arrogance. Yet many philosophers, be they ancient or modern, find little value in humility as a virtue. For the Aristotelian moral tradition, humility is an impediment to greatness. Modern philosophers take this sentiment further, asserting that humility only leads to unhappiness and human debasement. The Christian intellectual tradition, however, provides a contrast to these negative appraisals of humility. St Augustine of Hippo is an eloquent and robust proponent of the value of humility. Unlike the thinkers of the classical and modern philosophical traditions, Augustine asserts that humility is not only a significant virtue; it is the indispensable foundation of human greatness. In The Greatness of Humility, Joseph J. McInerney traces how Augustine makes his argument regarding the importance of humility and shows how his position measures up to those of his philosophical rivals

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