A Criticism Of Virtue In The 14th Century

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In this paper I will discuss virtue ethics. I will start by describing and sharing what virtue ethics is, and move on to my thoughts on two critiques of virtue ethics.
Virtue ethics is one out of the three main ideas in normative ethics. This form of ethics has a huge emphasize on the relationship between moral characters (virtues) and rules plus the possible consequences. There are different lists of virtues, but according to Socrates “virtue is knowledge” making knowledge the main or only true virtue (Hursthouse). Aristotle claims that there are two forms of virtues. The first form being “moral” virtues which correlations with emotions; the second form being “intellectual” virtues which correlations with the mind (Kemerling). He lists twelve moral virtues in Nicomachean Ethics, they are: courage in the face of fear, temperance in the face of pleasure and pain, liberality with wealth and possessions, magnificence with great wealth and possessions, magnanimity with great honors, proper ambition with normal honors, patience in the face of irritations, truthfulness
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For example, thinking women need to be quite and subtle to be virtuous in the 14th century in Europe is now different from what we think today but is still used as a guide for proper behavior. A good example of how moral character has changed over time would be slavery (Hursthouse). From about 1760 to 1800, in Britain, France and British America owning slaves was thought to be morally impartial yet came to be viewed as vicious in a short amount of time; nowadays slavery is viewed a terrible act of cruelty. I find that this critique is true, however, everything changes with time. We age, we learn, we adapt, and the same goes for our beliefs they change. I view this as a natural thing that doesn’t really affect the way virtue ethics is acted
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