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The second is the practically wise agent’s capacity to recognisesome features of a situation as more important than others, or indeed,in that situation, as the only relevant ones. The wise do not seethings in the same way as the nice adolescents who, with theirunder-developed virtues, still tend to see the personally disadvantageousnature of a certain action as competing in importance with its honestyor benevolence or justice.

Hursthouse, Rosalind. On Virtue Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. (Reprinted 2010.)

This is not to say that only virtue ethicists attend to virtues, any more than it is to say that only consequentialists attend to consequences or only deontologists to rules. Each of the above-mentioned approaches can make room for virtues, consequences, and rules. Indeed, any plausible normative ethical theory will have something to say about all three. What distinguishes virtue ethics from consequentialism or deontology is the centrality of virtue within the theory (Watson 1990; Kawall 2009). Whereas consequentialists will define virtues as traits that yield good consequences and deontologists will define them as traits possessed by those who reliably fulfil their duties, virtue ethicists will resist the attempt to define virtues in terms of some other concept that is taken to be more fundamental. Rather, virtues and vices will be foundational for virtue ethical theories and other normative notions will be grounded in them.

SparkNotes: Nicomachean Ethics: Study Questions & Essay …

Since you wrote two discussions about the virtue ethics and read some readings about this. This paper is to:

Virtue ought to have been the most simple of things to be defined within philosophy, but the word has not yet been given a clarification of meaning, and if virtue is still an unknown to western philosophy after three-thousand years, then western philosophy has not yet recognized the simplicity of virtue's origins.

Virtue Ethics - Progress Essays

Virtue ethicists have eschewed any attempt to ground virtue ethics inan external foundation while continuing to maintain that their claimscan be validated. Some follow a form of Rawls’s coherentist approach(Slote 2001; Swanton 2003); neo-Aristotelians a form of ethicalnaturalism.

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Another problem for virtue ethics, which is shared by bothutilitarianism and deontology, is (f) Abstractly conceived, this is the problem of how we justify or groundour ethical beliefs, an issue that is hotly debated at the level ofmetaethics. In its particular versions, for deontology there is thequestion of how to justify its claims that certain moral rules are thecorrect ones, and for utilitarianism of how to justify its claim thatall that really matters morally are consequences forhappiness or well-being. For virtue ethics, the problem concerns thequestion of which character traits are the virtues.

Virtue Ethics Assignment - Progress Essays

Another problem arguably shared by all three approaches is (e),that of being self-effacing. An ethical theory is self-effacing if,roughly, whatever it claims justifies a particular action, or makes itright, had better not be the agent’s motive for doing it. MichaelStocker (1976) originally introduced it as a problem for deontology and consequentialism. He pointed out that the agent who, rightly, visits afriend in hospital will rather lessen the impact of his visit on herif he tells her either that he is doing it because it is his duty orbecause he thought it would maximize the general happiness. Butas Simon Keller observes, she won’t be any better pleased ifhe tells her that he is visiting her because it is what a virtuousagent would do, so virtue ethics would appear to have the problem too (Keller 2007). However, virtue ethics’ defenders have argued that not all forms of virtue ethics are subject to this objection (Pettigrove 2011) and those that are are notseriously undermined by the problem (Martinez 2011).