virtue ethics - key words

OCR a2 ethics

key words of virtue ethics

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  • Created on: 01-06-12 19:21
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Virtue Ethics key words
The final goal of all human activity ­ happiness, well-being, human flourishing. The supreme goal of
human life. Everything has a purpose. Eudaimonia is the `good' for humans
Cardinal virtues ­ the four most important virtues
Christian/theological Virtues
Faith, hope and love (charity)
Intellectual virtues
Characteristics of thought and reason ­ technical skill, scientific knowledge, prudence, intelligence
and wisdom
Cardinal virtues
Originated in Plato ­ prudence/temperance, justice, courage, wisdom. Added to with the three
theological virtues
Alasdair MacIntyre
Remembering where ethics came from; historical context. Finding out about the context helps us
understand why people behave the way they do. Virtues change over time
Moral virtues
Qualities of character such as courage, friendliness, truthfulness
Aretaic ethics (excellence)
Another name for Virtue Ethics, from the Greek word arête, which simply means any kind of
excellence or virtue
Aristotle ­ 12 virtues ­ becomes Natural Law
Believed everything has a purpose. Draws a distinction between superior and subordinate aims.
Superior ­ `because that would make me happy'. Eudaimonia and the doctrine of the mean
Applies Aristotle to the Church. Fashions virtue ethics via Natural Law to religion
Virtue ethics draws on this. You cannot be happy unless your reason is engaged in the world, but
adds emotions
Philippa Foot
Goodness should be seen as the natural flourishing of humans. Ethics should be about making the
world a better place (Oxfam). The virtues are beneficial to the individual and community
A way of thinking that seeks to emancipate women in society and give them equal opportunities.
There is the possibility of virtues being gender specific; women think of relations, mean of justice,
fairness and rights

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Phronesis (practical wisdom)
Comes with age and experience. According to Aristotle, the virtue most needed for any other virtue
to be developed. Balancing self-interest with that of others. Needs to be directed by the moral
The Golden Mean
The balance of extremes of virtues and vices.…read more


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