Slowness as a Virtue

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Abstract

This essay explores three practices commonly discussed in relation to each other: slow writing, slow reading and slow philosophy. These have close connections, and all of these are joined by practices of philosophical teaching and dialogue, which can also be carried out in a ‘slow’ manner. ‘Slow’ here means careful, deliberate and perspicacious—which might be said to be the prime virtues of philosophy. In this essay I want to explore what slowness means in the context of our intellectual work, concluding that slowness can be seen as a kind of virtue. Like other virtues (for example, honesty), more and more of a good thing is not always for the better. One can be too slow, just as one can be too fast, and part of the enactment of this quality entails discernment in judging what kind of slowness, and how much slowness, is suited to a particular task. Context matters, and our choices about slowness need to be viewed in relation to specific circumstances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1443-1452
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Philosophy of Education
Volume54
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Slowness
  • slow philosophy
  • slow reading
  • slow writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • History
  • Philosophy

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