The Aristotelian Philosophy of the Martial Arts
Keywords:neo-Aristotelian Philosophy, virtue, telos, eudaimonia, aretê
Aristotle’s approach to ethics is proposed as a useful way to understand the role that the martial arts play in the life of the martial artist. Neo-Aristotelian philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, in his classic work After Virtue, introduces the concept of a eudaimonic practice, a form of social activity in which pursuing excellence in the practice results in the practitioner also becoming a better person. It is argued that the martial arts can best be described as such a practice. This approach reconciles a broad range of divergent perspectives on the martial arts, and coherently describes how training as a martial artist can contribute to high levels of functioning in one’s relationships and social roles, connecting the martial arts to the overall process of becoming a morally-excellent human being through growth in the virtues.
CAMERON, K.; BRIGHT, D. & CAZA, A. (2004). Exploring the relationships between organizational virtuousness and performance. American Behavioral Scientist, 47, 766-790.
COMTE-SPONVILLE, A. (2001). A small treatise on the great virtues (C. Temerson, Trad.). New York: Henry Holt & Company.
CVET, D. (2005). The measure of a master swordsman. Journal of Western Martial Art. En http://ejmas.com/jwma/articles/2006/jwmaart_hackney_0906.htm [Consulta 26/06/2006].
DAHLSGAARD, K.; PETERSON, C. & SELIGMAN, M. (2005). Shared virtue: The convergence of valued human strengths across culture and history. Review of General Psychology, 3, 203-213.
DEVETTERE, R. (2002). Introduction to virtue ethics: Insights of the ancient Greeks. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
FOOT, P. (2001). Natural goodness. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
FOWERS, B. (2005). Virtue and psychology: Pursuing excellence in everyday practices. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association
GRACIE, R. & GRACIE, R. (2001). Brazilian jiu-jitsu: Theory and technique. Montpelier, VT: Invisible Cities Press
HACKNEY, C. (2010, en prensa). Martial virtues. North Clarendon, VT: Charles E. Tuttle Publications.
HATSUMI, M. (1988). Essence of ninjutsu: The nine traditions. Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books.
HIGGINS, C. (2003). MacIntyre’s moral theory and the possibility of an aretaic ethics of teaching. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 37, 279-292.
HOBAN, J. (1988). Ninpo: Living and thinking as a warrior. Chicago: Contemporary Books.
HURSTHOUSE, R. (1999). On virtue ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press
KEOWN, D. (2001). The nature of Buddhist ethics. New York: Palgrave.
KING, L.; EELLS, J. & BURTON, C. (2004). The good life, broadly and narrowly considered. En P. A. Linley & S. Joseph (Eds.), Positive psychology in practice. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 35-52.
LEE, B. (1975). Tao of jeet kune do. Santa Clarita, CA: Ohara Publications
LIU, K. (2003). Making meaning through a martial art. Leadership in Action, 23, 21-22.
LOWRY, D. (1985). Autumn lightning: The education of an American samurai. Boston: Shambhala Publications.
LOWRY, D. (2006). In the dojo: A guide to the rituals and etiquette of the Japanese martial arts. Boston: Weatherhill.
MACINTYRE, A. (1984). After virtue (2ª edición). Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
MALISZEWSKI, M. (1996). Spiritual dimensions of the martial arts. Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle Company.
MATTHEWS, M. D.; EID, J.; KELLY, D. & PETERSON, C. (2006). Character strengths and virtues of developing military leaders: An international comparison. Military Psychology, 18, S57-68.
MURDOCH, I. (1970). The sovereignty of good. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
MURPHY, N. (2005b). Theological resources for integration. En A. Dueck & C. Lee (Eds.), Why psychology needs theology: A radical-reformation perspective. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 28-52.
OH, D. (2007, enero). The relevance of virtue ethics and application to the formation of character development in warriors. Comunicación presentada en el International Symposium for Military Ethics, Springfield, IL.
RYAN, R. & DECI, E. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 141-166.
SELIGMAN, M. (2002). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realice your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York: Free Press.
SUNDARARAJAN, L. (2005, agosto). Beyond hope: The Chinese Buddhist notion of emptiness. Comunicación presentada en la Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
TIKHONOV, V. (1998). Hwarang organization: Its function and ethics. Korea Journal, 38, 318-338.
TJELTVEIT, A. (2003). Implicit virtues, divergent goods, multiple communities: Explicitly addressing virtues in the behavioral sciences. American Behavioral Scientist, 47, 395-414.
TONER, C. (2006). Military service as a practice: Integrating the sword and shield approaches to military ethics. Journal of Military Ethics, 5, 183-200.
WATERMAN, A. (1993). Two conceptions of happiness: Contrasts of personal expressiveness (eudaimonia) and hedonic enjoyment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 678-691.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2012 Charles H. Hackney
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
The authors who publish in this journal must agree to the following terms:
- The authors grant on a nonexclusive basis the exploitation rights (reproduction, distribution, public communication and transformation) of the work accepted for publication to the University of León. The authors can establish, on their own, additional agreements for the non-exclusive distribution of the version of the work published in the journal (for example, placing it in an institutional repository or publishing it in a book), always acknowledging the initial publication in this journal.
- This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Click to see basic information and the legal text of the license.
- The authors are allowed and encouraged to disseminate electronically pre-print or post-print versions of their work before publication, as this can give rise to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and increased citing of the works published.