AQA A2 Virtue Ethics Key Scholars

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  • Virtue Ethics
  • Modern approaches
    • Virtue Ethics
    • MacIntyre (1929 -  )
      • Thinks we have gone overboard and are at risk of getting rid of "our comprehension of theoretical and practical... morality"
      • Looks back at the Greek writings
        • Odysseus - You are what you do. To judge a man is to judge his actions
          • We should aim for "heroic society"
            • In Heroic Society courage is the measure of an individual and essential to maintain society
              • A  good person is: Courageous. Reliable. Loyal.
      • Moral questions should be explored in terms of how we should make the most of our human lives rather than just following rules.
        • Virtues allow us to make good moral judgements
          • We have to practise being virtuous
            • Being spontaneously virtuous is not the same as being a virtuous person
              • We have to know ourselves to improve
                • So it is then better to follow the guidance of a virtuous person rather than laws or consequentialist thinking
                  • As they focus on both the end of the action and the social practice  of human life
      • Moral Society
        • Where people agree to common virtues and work towards them
          • Moral issues should be thought about in terms of the community practising the common virtues
            • Took this from the idea of the Christian community
              • Acknowledges the differences between the virtues of the ancient Homeric world (warrior values) and Aquinas' Christian virtues
                • 4 Cardinal Virtues
                  • Prudence
                  • Justice
                  • Temperance
                  • Bravery/Fortitude
                • Re-defines Aristotle's different types of people
                  • Manager
                  • Therapist
                  • Aesthete
    • Foot
      • Virtues are beneficial characteristics that human beings need virtues to get on in life.
        • Individuals need courage and wisdom
        • Communities need charity and justice
          • Individuals need courage and wisdom
        • The body needs excellences such as strength and health, just like the mind needs excellences such as virtues
        • A person is judged by their moral intentions rather than physical strengths
        • Virtues are about our intentions and our wish to act
          • Acknowledges that it is harder to be virtuous in some situations
            • eg. tempted to steal a pretty necklace vs. tempted to steal bread for a starving family
    • Anscombe (1919 - 2001)
      • Against deontological and teleological theories which are preoccupied with a law conception of ethics and take no account of morals or emotions
      • Against moral theories that permit any action for a "good end"
      • Thinks moral "duty" should be gotten rid of
        • Instead we should always name the exact wrong
          • Untruthful. Unchaste. Unjust.
            • Not "is doing .... wrong?" we should ask "was it unjust?" so we have a  clearer answer
  • Ancient  approaches


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