Virtue Ethics

692 Words3 Pages
Theoretically, there are many approaches that can be considered when attempting to define acceptable social behaviors and the formation thereof. Among these theories are virtue theories, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics. Each type of theory has been extensively argued, yet no one approach is definitive. Virtue ethics are theories that highlight the importance of character and morals over dutiful behaviors. Many virtue theories are rooted in Aristotle's teachings, which argue that a "virtuous person is someone who has ideal character traits" (Athanassoulis, 2004). Virtue theories are founded upon the contention that sets of universal principles, virtues, can be applied across a variety of situations. Virtues are defined as conformity to a standard of right or particular moral excellence (Merriam-Webster, 2012). Presently, virtue theories have seen resurgence, specifically Eudemonism, agent-based theories, and the ethics of care (Athanassoulis, 2004). Eudemonism "bases virtues in flourishing, where flourishing is equated with performing one's distinctive function well" (Athanassoulis, 2004). Agent-based theories argue that individuals seek to emulate virtuous qualities they see in others based on common-sense intuitions, whereas the ethics of care argues that qualities such as caring and nurturing should also be considered as virtuous traits. Utilitarianism, on the other hand, attempts to define morality in "terms of the maximization of net expectable utility for

More about Virtue Ethics

Open Document