Creative Virtue Press/Telical Books

Press Release:

"Virtuism: Philosophy and the Aesthetics of Virtue," written by R.S. Pearson, was published on December 15, 2005 by Telical Books of Seattle, Washington.

Virtuism: Philosophy and the Aesthetics of Virtue is a philosophy book that draws on aesthetics and ethics. Virtuism started in the mid-1980's as an art theory. Like other art manifesto writers, like Andre Breton with his Surrealist manifestoes and Tristan Tzara with his Dada Manifestoes, the author was a young art theorist who was striving to do something new in the art world. Since everything shocking and scandalous seemingly had been done in the arts at that time, Virtuism became about the aesthetics of human virtue, how virtuous acts produce in us the same experience as great works of art. The author describes in his book how witnessing or creating a virtuous act produces the aesthetic experience. The book argues that the giving of the good feeling of the aesthetic or "art" experience gives evidence that life has a higher meaning, since in fact the aesthetic experience is so pleasant.

One area the author discusses is how modern philosophy states that the existence of a benevolent God cannot be proven, but then modern philosophers go on anyway to write books overshadowed with the idea that there is no benevolent purpose to life on earth. Since the opposite view could be also taken as true, since it is supposedly equally unprovable, the book writes from the perspective of how to pragmatically get life to act benevolent to us. The book discusses other philosophical implications of this relationship such as the dubious value of religious and sectarian exclusionism, and the fact that much social science statistics seem to prove the value of the virtues.

The author wanted to distance himself from the appearance of creating a simplistic philosophy because of the post-modernist critiques of narratives. Yet, philosophy and art are by necessity "ism-manufacturing" disciplines. For mathematics to grow, it must create new nouns and verbs, and philosophy and art must create new movements to grow. A person creating their own "ism" to the untrained mind is looked at dubiously. Yet, there are, every year, hundreds of new "isms" and new schools of thought created by academics and artists because of the ever present necessity for change and growth.

The author noted in 2003 how people were starting to use the word "Virtuism" without reference to his writings. Even though he had been self-publishing smaller versions of his idea since 1984, he realized it would be a good idea to finally get a finalized copy in print.

The book is divided into thirty-nine short chapters. Some chapters tackle arguments against the idea of good and bad existing at all, an idea which is sometimes argued in philosophy. Other chapters help the reader see how leading a virtuous life can be connected to ideas of beauty. One chapter is titled "Scrupulosity as a Way of Avoiding True Virtue." Another is called, "A Virtuist Perspective on the Philosophical Concept of Power." One of the most interesting parts of the book is when it looks at doing acts of virtue as an art form.

The author was born and raised in New York and resettled to Seattle in 1982. He started self-publishing "Virtue Manifestoes" in 1984, and distributed them via creating small magazines with the themes of the manifestoes. In 1992, he started ParaMind Brainstorming Software, which is a software product that uses the idea of "exhausting the interactions of words" to develop new ideas related to the user's typed-in sentence.

"Virtuism: Philosophy and the Aesthetics of Virtue," published by Telical Books, can be purchased online at Amazon.com, by special order at any bookstore, or by sending $19.95 to Telical Books, P.O. Box 27401, Seattle, WA 98165-2401.