Multiple Cases of Pro-life Volunteering in a Neo-Aristotelian Ethical Approach

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Maria Clara Figueiredo Dalla Costa Ames orcid
Mauricio Custódio Serafim orcid


Objective: to understand the relationship between moral virtues and phronesis from volunteers of civil society organizations that work for the protection and assistance of pregnant women, known as pro-life. Theoretical framework: the perspective of virtue ethics is presented in the neo-Aristotelian approach as a theoretical framework, according to which human conduct is understood as based on the dispositions of character, the moral virtues, as well as through practical wisdom or phronesis, with the purpose (telos) of human flourishing. Method: the research strategy consists of a qualitative multiple case study approach in Brazilian (n = 2) and Spanish (n = 2) organizations, focusing on their volunteers (n = 17 participants). The field was accessed through participant observation, semi-structured face-to-face interview, and documentary research, thematically analyzing their content with the aid of NVivo software. Results: the results suggest how they act and learn virtues throughout their experience as volunteers – prudence (phronesis), temperance, courage, and hope – to know how to approach, advise, judge, or restrain judgment and help pregnant women establish priorities and perspectives for the future (foresight). Evidence supports the relationship of the phronesis-temperance and phronesis-hope relationship to balance current priorities and future expectations. Conclusion: different contexts may reveal similar virtues in volunteer practices. The results reinforce the assumption of the unity of virtues. Evidence, limitations, and research possibilities are discussed.


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Ames, M. C. F. D. C., & Serafim, M. C. (2022). Multiple Cases of Pro-life Volunteering in a Neo-Aristotelian Ethical Approach. Journal of Contemporary Administration, e210315.
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