Virtue ethics

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  • Aristotle: Virtue Ethics
    • Key words
      • Arete: moral virtue/ excellence of any kind
        • Set of morals
        • Personal to each person
      • Ergon: the function of an object
        • Reason is the ergon of a human
      • Eudaimonia: gained by the development of virtues/ The good life
        • You are the best version of yourself you can be
    • Agent based ethics: morality is based on the person
      • What makes a good person is their morals
      • 'Good' can be applied in every culture
    • The Golden mean= virtue
      • Deficiency: lack of virtue
        • Deficiency: Coward
          • Virtue: Courageous
            • Excess: Rash
      • Excess: too much of a virtue
        • Excess: Rash
      • Desirable middle between two extremes
    • Practical wisdom: intellectual virtue that helps us know what the right time/object/ motive/way/ person is
      • Acquired through good habit
      • Virtuous by practice
    • Function argument
      • every object has a function
        • Knife: to cut
        • Human: reason
        • Something is virtuous if it performs its function without excess or deficiency
    • Voluntary and involuntary actions
      • V: intended and we can be blamed for these
        • E.g. someone drowning at sea: intention to save: courageous. \Intention to drown: coward
      • IV: there are two types of involuntary actions
        • Compulsion: acts which are partly due to our intentions, yet partly contrary: e.g. robbery due to blackmail
        • Non-voluntary actions (ignorance): unintended acts due to unforeseen consequneces
    • Strengths
      • Can be applied to all cultures and situations as it is based on the person, not the outcome or action
    • Issues
      • Doesn't tell us how to act
      • Clashing virtues: honesty and caring for friends feelings
      • Circular argument
        • virtue is what a virtue does                               virtue does whatever a virtue is
  • Deficiency: Coward
    • Virtue: Courageous


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