Phronesis, meta-emotions, and character education
Despite the recent interest in phronesis (practical wisdom), and the creation of a four-componential model to unpack its nature, various puzzles (philosophical, psychological, and educational) remain about those components, not least the proposed one of emotion regulation. This paper introduces four remaining puzzles about this component and provides a brief overview of possible responses, based on Aristotle’s texts. However, given Aristotle’s own naturalistic method, in which ethical theorising must be constantly updated in light of empirical findings, the paper suggests that Aristotle’s texts only take us thus far and that we need to draw on contemporary psychological sources for further enlightenment. The paper therefore invokes research from the last quarter of a century about so-called meta-emotions. This research is relevant given the meta-status of phronesis as an integrative virtue. Some of the possible implications of this research for an understanding of the emotional component of phronesis are elicited, as well as how it can be cultivated as part of character education.
Please, cite this article as follows: Kristjánsson, K. (2023). Phrónesis, metaemociones y educación del carácter [Phronesis, meta-emotions, caracter education]. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 81 (286), 437-456. https://doi.org/10.22550/REP81-3-2023-01
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Kristján Kristjánsson is a Professor of Character Education and Virtue Ethics at the University of Birmingham and former deputy director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Cornell University, University of Konstanz, St. Edmund’s College (Cambridge University) and Institute of Education (University of London). He has written extensively on themes in general education, moral education, educational psychology, moral philosophy and political philosophy. His research orientation can best be summed up as that of Aristotle-inspired philosophical scrutiny of theories in educational psychology and values education, with special emphasis on the notions of character and virtuous emotions.
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