An Aristotelian Theory of Family
Applications of theory, family narratives, family theory, research methodology, qualitative research
Our purpose is to apply Aristotelian theory to family studies. We introduce Aristotle’s work through his debate with Plato over the meaning of family and its role in society. We then explain key concepts in Aristotelian theory, including virtue, practical wisdom, telos, interpretation and evaluation, agency, and human development. We propose an Aristotelian conceptualization of family as a multigenerational institution of mutual responsibility, defined in part through narrative and oriented around developing virtue and helping members reach their potential. Finally, we identify family virtues and consider implications of Aristotelianism for social research, with particular attention to how Aristotle’s work provides an epistemological basis for narrative research in general and for case study research in particular.
Original Publication Citation
Goodsell, T., Whiting, J. B. (2016). An Aristotelian theory of family. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 8, 484-502. doi: 10.1111/jftr.12169
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Goodsell, Todd L. and Whiting, Jason B. PhD, "An Aristotelian Theory of Family" (2016). Faculty Publications. 2127.
Journal of Family Theory & Review
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
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