(MacIntyre 1981, 169-89) In his usage, practices are socially established activities that lead those who participate in them to appreciate certain things as goods and to internalize standards f excellence in achieving them. Practices are done for their own sake, such as friendship, not for additional ends, such as practicing free throws in basketball. Martha Nussbaum recommends the engaged reading f literature as a practice that expands moral perception and empathy. This skill is a necessary component f humanistic education, even for lawyers and scientists. (Nussbaum 1997, 85-112) Diana Fritz Cates argues that the practice f committed friendship trains desires and moral vision in the virtue f compassion. The willingness to engage others, even strangers, in their suffering gains added meaning as a practice within a Christian frame f reference.
Maria Antonaccio describes recent attention to "practices" as conscious efforts at moral formation. (Antoncaccio 1998, 69-92) She distinguishes between an "existential" model f askesis advocated by Pierre Hadot's study f Stoic sources, a "therapeutic" model in Nussbaum, and an "aesthetic" approach in Michel Foucault. ...Show more