Aristotle outlined his theory of Virtue Ethics in his book Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle focused his idea of ethics on agents rather than acts. His main idea is focused on the idea of human character- how can you be a better person? In fact, Aristotle once said: “For we are enquiring not in order to know what virtue is, but in order to become good, since otherwise our enquiry would be of no use.” Aristotle is given the credit for developing the idea of virtue ethics, but many of Plato's cardinal values influenced his ideas. Virtue Ethics is focused on the person's actions, not the consequences of that action. Aristotle believed if you had good moral values, then your actions would be "good" in theory. Rather than defining good actions,
Virtue ethics is concerned with the traits of character that make one a good person. Virtue ethics seems to be more personal because it is not about choosing which side of an issue one would prefer to take part in, but the kind of person one wants to be. A virtuous person is considered to be a morally good person, and virtues are good traits. For virtue ethics, the moral life is about developing good character.
Ethics and virtue have been a very contentious issue facing society for centuries. Many argue over the merits of various theories, each with its own philosophies and assumptions. It is this argument that has given rise to many popular and followed theories of ethics and virtues. The theories discussed primarily in this document include the virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological theory. Each is very distinct to the others in regards to its principles and assumptions regarding human behavior. Each however, has merit in regards to question of ethics and virtue, and how it should subsequently be valued.
Virtue ethics is a normative theory whose foundations were laid by Aristotle. This theory approaches normative ethics in substantially different ways than consequentialist and deontological theories. In this essay, I will contrast and compare virtue ethics to utilitarianism, ethical egoism, and Kantianism to demonstrate these differences. There is one fundamental aspect of virtue ethics that sets it apart from the other theories I will discuss. For the sake of brevity and to avoid redundancy, I will address it separately. This is the fundamental difference between acting ethically within utilitarianism, egoism, and Kantianism. And being ethical within virtue ethics. The other theories seek to define the ethics of actions while virtue ethics does not judge actions in any way. The other theories deal with how we should act, while virtue ethics determines how we should be.
The Virtue Theory, also know as Virtue Ethics, refers to the character of each person. This theory states that every person should try for excellence. The characteristics of each individual are made up from their environment that they are a part of. The theory would further suggest
Virtue ethics is a very different approach to the others and central to Aristotle's work. It does not primarily concentrate on the right action as such; the right action according to virtue ethicists is the one that the virtuous agent would do. Virtue ethics takes the central feature of morality to be the virtuous character, and the account of what the virtues are as the basis of the theory.
Alasdair MacIntyre encourages a return to the basis of Aristotle’s understanding of virtue and encourages the development of virtues that are relevant to contemporary times. He believed when compared to other ethical theories Virtue Ethics are more realistic and applicable to peoples everyday situations. I would agree with MacIntyre here that a virtue-approach is more suitable in our society. Naturalistic theories of ethics are time consuming and overly complexed and therefore difficult to apply, Virtue Ethics however is not. For
Aristotle found that there are two kinds of virtues of the soul. First, there are virtues of thought, such as wisdom. Next, there are virtues of character, such as generosity. The main focus of his virtue ethics lies in the virtues of character. Aristotle assumed that these virtues are learned through habit. For example, whereas intellectual virtue may arise from reading a book, the adoption of virtuous character is inherited solely by practice. Therefore, it is through a person's upbringing that moral virtues are cultivated, and it is through the habit of thinking virtuously that one can excel towards happiness.
Hursthouse, R (2007) Virtue ethic. In Zalta,E(ed) , Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Stanford University. Online. Available: http://plato.stanford.edu/ (accessed 5 August 2015).
Aristotle wrote the first book ever written about ethics titles “The Nicomachean Ethics,” and it is still one of the greatest and most influential. Its purpose is to teach us to be virtuous rather than to understand what virtue is. (Aristotle, 2009)
Virtue is an essential part of forming our identities, and we acquire virtue through our social roles and the education we have. Cicero states four virtues that each of us need to learn, which he summarized as: “moral goodness”. He said, “For if we bring a certain amount of propriety and
In this paper, I will critically examine Rosalind Hursthouse’s argument on “Virtue Ethics” about the reasoning of a virtuous person by delving into the topic. I will then expose a particular problem within it. Perhaps the strongest point of the argument on “Virtue Ethics” that Hursthouse gives relies on the claim of moral philosophy. Moral philosophy claims that a virtuous person would act and make decisions like what a virtuous person would do. In this paper, I will focus on Hursthouse’s argument on the certainty of a virtuous person, offer an objection to the argument, and demonstrate how Hursthouse might respond to that objection.
Virtue ethics is a theory that focuses on character development and what virtues one should obtain to be who they are supposed to be, as oppose to actions. An example of virtue ethics would be someone who is patient, kind, loving, generous, temperance, courage and flourishing as oppose to a person who lies, cheats, and
An advantage of virtue ethics is that it brings in all the qualities of being human such as reason, responsibility and emotion to influence a person’s ethical consideration. This can be applied in situations where a person asks what sort of person he or she should be. However, our text book clarifies that “determining what the specific virtues are, and what the appropriate balance among those virtues should be, can be difficult” (Mosser, 2011).
Virtue Ethics is neither deontological nor teleological, since it is concerned with neither duty nor consequences, but rather the state of the person acting. Aristotle believed that once you are good, good actions will necessarily follow, and this belief is at the centre of Virtue Ethics. Rather than defining good actions, Virtue Ethics looks at good people and the qualities that make them good. The non-normative theory, although very effective in determining the morality of individuals, is particularly flawed when applied to whole societies. This weakness is largely due to its imprecision and abstraction; however, before these weaknesses can be considered, it is necessary to give an account of the theory itself.