Virtue ethics

  • Created by: vezting
  • Created on: 08-01-16 11:20
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  • virtue ethics
    • key concepts
      • based on views of Greek philosopher Aristotle
      • 1- all things and humans have a purpose/function- a 'telos'
      • 2- a complex explanation of anything would include final cause or purpose
      • 3-this purpose is to realise potential and fulfil it
      • 4-for humans the ultimate goal is to flourisher- 'eudaimonia'
      • 5- this means developing characteristics to be virtuous
      • 6-this is not about what people do, but who they are Eg being kind, leads to a kind person
      • 7-the end purpose of humanity is rational thought
      • the highest good is found in intellectual virtue
    • moral vitues
      • by living in the practical world meant people must peruse more moral virtues
      • courage,
      • temperance
      • liberality
      • magnificence (attitude to wealth)
      • greatness of soul (attitude to social inferiors)
      • good temper/ gentleness
      • agreeable in company
      • wittiness
      • modesty
      • people will gain satisfaction for using these moral virtues by doing the right thing- because its the right thing
    • golden mean
      • perfect balance between two extremes Eg between cowardice and recklessness
      • this is discovered by intellect that leads to moral virtue
    • modern virtue ethics
      • anscombe- moral absolutes are out of date in society that has abandoned God
      • Taylor- rejected divine commands as it stopped people reaching their potential
      • Macintyre- virtue-based approaches to ethics are more realistic and applicable to everyday situations
    • strengths- encourage people to do good for own sake, make happier life, applies to real-life situations, doing good in itself is good
    • weaknesses- which virtues should be developed most? not everyone wants to develop, golden mean not easy to apply, Aristotle gives no guidance during conflict, a selfish theory


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