Virtue Ethics and Ethics of Care Essay

2348 Words Apr 9th, 2011 10 Pages
Fried Pataters
Mr. Hahn
Phil 2310
10 May 2010

Virtue Ethics and Ethics of Care Aristotle and Rita Manning both have different theories when it comes to ethics. Aristotle uses virtue ethics to answer questions about morality whereas Manning uses what is called ethics of caring to do the same thing. Virtue ethics claims people’s actions aim towards the highest good of happiness. From happiness, moral virtue stems from reasons governing the desires of the soul. Manning on the other hand believes that moral actions extend from people caring for one another on a personal level. By developing the ability to care for others, people become morally aware of how to act in certain situations. When the question of: “how ought I live my life?”
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Then there are the two extreme ends of the states of character which is superhuman virtue and brutishness. Superhuman virtue is displaying virtuous character in every case including extreme situations. On the opposite end, brutishness is absent of reason and the desires are so morbidly wrong that the actions are morbidly wrong as a result. Aristotle feels people should strive for the superhuman virtue state, yet because being superhumanly virtuous is incredibly difficult, being virtuous or continent is seen as good as well. Rita Manning’s approach to ethics is referred to as ethics of caring. She claims that ethics of caring has two elements, the first being disposition to care. Disposition to care “is a willingness to receive others, a willingness to give the lucid attention required to appropriately fill the needs of others” (Manning 477). The disposition deals with a commitment to caring for the needs of others. Manning claims that humans are obligated to care for not only the needs of others, but also what is required for the needs of others. A great example is sending beef to India after a natural disaster. By sending provisions, people are showing they care but they fail to realize that Hindu people do not eat beef. Instead, people should learn more about the people they are helping so that they can send provisions that will do the most good. Manning states that we need to be aware of the individual needs of certain people in

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