Can Illness Be Edifying?
A paper by Ian James Kidd for the Durham Philosophy Department Eidos seminar series
Thursday 19 May, 7.30pm
Philosophy Seminar Room, Old Elvet
Abstract: Havi Carel has recently argued that one can be ill and happy. An ill person can ‘positively respond’ to illness by cultivating ‘adaptability’ and ‘creativity’. I propose that Carel’s claim can be augmented by connecting it with virtue ethics. The positive responses which Carel describes are best understood as the cultivation of virtues and this adds a significant moral aspect to coping with illness. I defend this claim against four objections and conclude the paper by affirming the value of augmenting Carel’s phenomenology of illness with virtue ethics.