• Traced back to the philosopher Aristotle. who rejected Plato’s metaphysical history of goodness as a ‘thing in itself’ . Aristotle thought that goodness is natural and psychological: merely a portion of being human.
• Virtue Ethics makes ethical behavior into the purpose ( telos ) of life.
• Aristotle puts frontward ‘aretaic ethics’ ( from the Greek arete – ‘excellence’ ) . saying that developing an first-class character is all important. instead than following a set of prescribed ethical norms.
• The ultimate end is eudaimonia ( ‘flourishing’ ) . for a individual who practises virtuousness will experience happy and content.
Aristotle on Happiness and Virtue ( AO1 stuff )
• Aristotle distinguishes between different types of pleasance. Some seek basic desires. others honour and respect. but the best thing is to be a lover of contemplation. Aristotle regards this as a virtuous philosophical ideal.
• A human being is a ‘rational animal’ able to contemplate and value the chase if virtuousness. So. we must utilize our ground to take virtuousness.
• For Aristotle. the good life meant taking the ‘doctrine of the mean’ . that is. the reasonable balance in behavior. For illustration. if we are missing in bravery so we are cowards. but if we have excessively much bravery so we are rash. The virtuous individual chooses the moderate place of reasonable bravery.
• Aristotle identified 12 cardinal moral virtuousnesss. along with 5 primary virtuousnesss and 4 rational virtuousnesss. For all of these. balance is the key to virtuous behavior.
Other Virtue Approaches ( AO1 stuff )
• The philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe argued that modern moralss is mistaken. because it has ignored virtuousness in favor of theories about what goodness is. She urged that modern philosophers return to personal virtuousness.
• Later. Alasdair MacIntyre in After Virtue argued that ancient societies were right to underscore virtuousness. MacIntyre argued that the modern universe would profit from holding what we value as virtuousnesss and advancing them alternatively of theories about good actions.
• MacIntyre suggested that modern virtuousnesss should include: bravery. justness. moderation. wisdom. diligence. hope. and forbearance.
Strengths of Virtue Ethics ( AO2 stuff )
• V. E. allows that virtuousness alterations over clip: that’s realistic.
• It is flexible. because it does non order fixed responsibilities. • Martha Nussbaum argues that V. E. is ‘holistic’ – sing personal well-being.
Failings of Virtue Ethics ( AO2 stuff )
• V. E. does non give clear counsel. unlike Kantian Ethical motives or Natural Law.
• It doesn’t trade with the job of evil people who think they are right.
• Some things are perfectly incorrect ( Louis Pojman suggests anguish ) . V. E. does non set out even the most basic or of import moral boundaries.