One of the notable developments in the late twentieth century is " ethics of care. A virtue theory of the type which aims at a supplementary role can be called "moderate" virtue ethics, and a virtue theory of the type which bills itself as a competitor "radical" virtue ethics.
According to Nussbaum, it is the virtues that are absolutes, and we should strive for them. For Aristotle, eudaimonia is the highest good, which, although it is not a transcendent Form at all, is something perfectly enjoyed in the life of God.
More recently, Rosalind Hursthouse has published On Virtue Ethics, and Roger Crisp and Michael Slote have edited a collection of important essays titled Virtue Ethics, while Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen have employed virtue theory in theorizing the capability approach to international development.
Aristotle considered many more moral virtues than Plato, and included virtues such as magnificence, liberality, friendship, sincerity, and self-respect.
Utilitarianism abortion essays very word " ethics " implies "ethos. On the issue of embryo research, Alasdair MacIntyre suggests that people first need to understand the social situation in which although many people are negative about embryonic stem-cell research, they are not upset with the fact that thousands of embryos actually die at various stages in the IVF in vitro fertilization process.
This is his deontological ethics. Aristotle, like Plato before him, argued that the pursuit of eudaimonia was an activity that could only properly be exercised in the characteristic human community—the polis or city-state.
Thus, some virtue ethicists argue that it is possible to base a judicial system on the moral notion of virtues rather than on rules. Lack of moral rules Another criticism of virtue ethics is that it lacks absolute moral rules which can give clear guidance on how to act in specific circumstances such as abortionembryo research, and euthanasia.
For example, the virtue of courage is a mean between the two vices of cowardice and foolhardiness. Thus, two more rivals of virtue ethics emerged: The idea here would be that it is right do x because that would be honest, for example. Radical virtue ethics Some virtue theorists have radically maintained that virtue ethics is able to provide principled guidance about what we should do.
Conversely, if one has practical wisdom, then one has all the virtues. Its contemporary revival is frequently traced to the British philosopher G. This is to say that virtue ethics can also function as a theory of right action. If so, then moral principles are more fundamental than virtuous states of character, and cannot be explained in terms of them.
Eudaimonia is a state variously translated as "happiness" or "human flourishing. Moderate virtue ethics On the moderate conception, the importance of virtue theory is to provide an account of moral motivation, of moral character, that will complement the other normative theories of right action.
Criticisms Cultural diversity Some criticize virtue ethics in relation to the difficulty involved with establishing the nature of the virtues.
Radical virtue ethicists argue that right actions may be defined in terms of virtuous states of character.
But, the important question in virtue ethics as to what kind of person one ought to be, which may be answered differently depending on the ethos, can still give real direction and purpose to people. Aristotle, too, explained moral virtues in terms of the rational ability of the soul to control its appetitive portion.
It may be that virtue ethics, as long as it is teleological, intends to eventually reach moral rules, although its starting point is the development of virtues as character traits of the soul.
She thus recommends a return to the virtue ethical theories of the ancients, particularly Aristotlewhich ground morality in eudaimonia. According to Aristotle, the most prominent exponent of eudaimonia in the Western philosophical tradition, eudaimonia is the proper goal of human life.
What is interesting is that according to Plato eudaimonia as the final purpose of virtuous human life is rooted in the Forms, especially the Form of the Good.In almost thirty years of college teaching, I wrote many things for my students, most of which are long since lost.
I have been perusing the surviving material and have found a piece that might be of interest. Virtue ethics is one of three major theories in normative ethics, the other two being deontological ethics and consequentialism (or utilitarianism).It holds the cultivation of moral character and embodiment of virtues as the essential issues in ethics, rather than the establishment of rules based on duties (deontological ethics) or consequences .Download