Virtue theory

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  • cardinal virtues
    • Prudence
      • Justice
        • Bravery
          • Temperance
    • Virtue theory
      • Good point
        • It centres ethics on the person and what it means to be human
        • It includes the whole of a person's life
      • Bad points
        • It doesn't provide clear guidance on what to do in moral dilemmas
          • Solution
            • although it does provide general guidance on how to be a good person
        • here is no general agreement on what the virtues are
      • Virtue ethics is person rather than action based: it looks at the virtue or moral character of the person carrying out an action, rather than at ethical duties and rules, or the consequences of particular actions.
      • Virtue ethics not only deals with the rightness or wrongness of individual actions, it provides guidance as to the sort of characteristics and behaviours a good person will seek to achieve.
      • A good person is someone who lives virtuously - who possesses and lives the virtues.
  • An action is only right if it is an action that a virtuous person would carry out in the same circumstances.
    • A virtuous person is a person who acts virtuously
      • A person acts virtuously if they "possess and live the virtues"
        • A virtue is a moral characteristic that a person needs to live well.


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