Dr Adrian Walsh delivers a St Cross College Lecture entitled Good Intentions and Political Life: Against Virtue Parsimony.
It is a commonplace that the good life and the good society are intimately interconnected. In order to maximize our chances of living well, we require a well-ordered polity; and this is one of the fundamental challenges of politics. Typically we regard a good society as, amongst other things, a society that has well designed institutions. One crucial aspect of the 'design challenge' concerns itself with the relationship between individual virtue and such political institutions. Is it is in general a good idea to prefer those institutions that demand from participating individuals a virtue-rich input? [...]