Aristotelian virtue ethics essay plan

  • Created by: sara1810
  • Created on: 19-05-21 11:04

A Level Essay Planning Sheet 




DISC introduction 

Define your terms 


Virtue ethics is agent 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 actionsAristotle defines virtue as the average, or 'mean,' between excess and deficiency. E.G. Aristotle argues that to function well as an X is to be a good X. For example, to function well as a can-opener is the same thing as being a good can-opener. Functionality = goodness. A good person is a functional person, and a functional person is a human being that is achieving its purpose well, So acting in accordance with the mean is part of fulfilling our functions. 



It's a useful theory since human beings are often more interested in assessing the character of another person than they are in assessing the goodness or badness of a particular action. 




Virtue ethics stems from Aristotle, and opposes act-centered theories such as Kantian ethics and utilitarianism proposed by philosophers such as Kant, Bentham & Mill, 



Conclusion – signpost it! 

Here I argue that virtue ethics is convincing in some respects but not others, but ultimately it is not adequately supported 


First PEREL section (you need 3 or 4 of these for a whole essay!) 






The issue of circularity involved in defining virtuous acts and virtuous persons (in terms of each other): Aristotle says if we want to perform a virtue then we should look at someone who is virtuous and chooses virtuous acts. This raises an issue as there is no independent term because virtuous acts are defined as acts performed by a virtuous person and a virtuous person is defined as someone who performs virtuous acts. The definition, therefore, has no real essence or basis because a conclusion is never reached and instead creates a never-ending cycle. 




Introduction of Eudaimonia: Virtuous person = someone who has reached Eudaimonia, which raises the question, how do they reach eudaimonia? By choosing virtuous acts. 

The external read that are missed at all would have taken to know who the virtuous people were was to look around him at the good people of Athens or stopped he does not need to give a definition of virtuous person which


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