Virtue ethics

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  • Created by: _alf24
  • Created on: 18-03-15 14:01
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  • Virtue Ethics
    • Aristotle
      • "We are what we repeatedly do"
      • We should aim to reach eudaimonia/well being
      • There are virtues that shape humans, these are known as arête
      • There are two types of arête
        • 12 Moral
          • Acquired through habit
          • E.g - courage, modesty, patience
        • 9 Intellectual
          • Acquired  through training and education
          • E.g - prudence, cleverness
          • Prudence (phronesis) is the most important
      • A virtue is the golden mean, the mid-point between two vices
      • People are not born with virtues but they develop as we grow
      • Living in a community along like minded people is the best way to live and achieve eudaimonia
    • Aquinas
      • Developed from Aristotle
      • Developed four cardinal virtues on which all moral virtues depend
        • Prudence - practical wisdom
        • Justice - harmonious judgement
        • Temperance - self control
        • Fortitude - courage
      • Three  theological virtues
        • Hope, faith and charity
      • We should follow the 7 virtues and avoid the 7 deadly sins
    • Anscombe
      • It makes no sense for modern society to follow the laws if they don't believe in the law giver
      • Doing the right thing isn't good if you're doing it out of obedience
      • She urged a return to Aristotle
      • Good should be associated with people and their character not  with actions
    • Alasdair MacIntyre
      • Individualistic figures have become archetypal (we look up to them)
        • The Bureaucratic Managers
          • The dominant people in the world e.g business men, they get what they want regardless of others
        • Rich Aesthetes
          • People who aren't particularly great but remain in the public eye e.g celebrities, they think they can do what they want
        • The Therapists
          • Keep the show on the road, people like us who encourage negativity by watching and reading about the aesthetes
      • We've become based on emotion too much
      • We are in the "modern moral dark ages"
      • Virtues help to develop a sense of community
    • Phillippa Foot
      • Tried to modernise Aristotle's virtue ethics
      • A virtue is not a virtue if it leads to a bad end
    • Rosalind Hursthouse
      • Uses Aristotle's model but disagrees with his conclusion
      • Virtue is the only reliable path to human flourishing
      • You don't just do what is right
      • Gave the example of abortion it can be used practically, it is brave to have a baby
    • Julia Annas
      • Virtues shapes our practical reasoning
      • There's more to ethics than just solving dilemmas
      • We should avoid false nostalgia
    • Michael Slote
      • Virtue ethics should be based on common sense
      • We should use words such as admirable rather than good
      • Said there was a difference between agent-focused and agent-based
      • Balance between caring for family and friends and caring for everyone else
    • Annette Baier
      • Feminist virtue ethicist
      • Takes into account our natural biases, e.g women have virtues of care, nurturing and self sacrifice
    • Strengths
      • It avoids having to use a formula and focuses on the kind of person we ought to be
      • Understands the need to distinguish between good people and legalists
      • It encourages community and rejects an individualistic approach
      • It sees it as good to be  biased towards friends and family unlike utilitarianism
    • Weaknesses
      • Louden
        • You can't use it to solve practical ethical dilemmas
      • Different people have different views on what the virtues are
      • There is no specific code to follow
      • Following these virtues might lead to a dull virtuous life rather than living life to the full
      • Russell
        • "Philosophers... are constitutionally timid and dislike the unexpected. Few of them would be genuinely happy as pirates or burglars"

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