But how can we acquire this know-how about virtues? After all, to be an honest person is to be the kind of person who does honest things. But one supposedly becomes honest by doing honest things. So how would one know how to do honest things before one is an honest person?
In other words, if an honest person is a person who is reliably disposed to do honest things, and the know-how about honesty is acquired from upbringing, then how can one become an honest person (i.e., develop the reliable disposition to act honestly) before one knows how to act honestly (given that one is not yet an honest person)?
It does not seem helpful to say that one learns about honesty from others as one is brought up, for the same question can be raised about others. That is, for any given person, how did that person acquire the know-how to act honestly? If we say "from being brought up by others," then we seem to get into a vicious regress. How did others acquire that know-how?
If this is correct, then is it really more helpful to be told "do the honest thing" than to be told "do the right thing," as Annas claims?