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Arts, Virtue and Character: Perspectives from Philosophy and Psychology

Ogunyemi Omowumi
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Ogunyemi Omowumi: Institute of humanities, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos

European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies Articles, 2018, vol. 4

Abstract: : In today’s world, the tendency to live constantly connected to a virtual digital space makes it difficult to have an ambiance that fosters paused reflections. Often times, one needs to make a conscious effort to stop and think if one recognises the importance of reflections for making the deliberated choices needed for self-development. For many people, a break from the frenzy of activities is facilitated by arts, such as narratives and music. Interestingly, more than just means of entertainment, the arts can be important catalysts for learning processes. Ancient philosophers affirmed that music is helpful in education to virtue as it tempers the emotions of a child to raise it towards the good. However, such high regards for art and music in character formation is often forgotten today.From the perspective of contemporary narrative philosophy, each action or choice which builds up into the habit is best understood as part of a continuous narrative. One understands the self better when considering it as the protagonist of a narrative moving from a beginning towards an end, guided by chosen goals which are good for the acting subject. Additionally contemporary psychologists acknowledge the role of the arts in character formation. This conceptual paper brings together ideas from psychology and philosophy in order to explore the role of some forms of art in character development. The appreciation of the on-going construction of the plot of one’s life-story guided by the intrinsic goods that promote human flourishing (including aesthetic experiences), may serve as a foundation for understanding the importance of coherence and unity of life for building character.

Keywords: narratives; music; character development; self-understanding; psychology; philosophy. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.26417/ejis.v4i3.p32-38

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