Virtue

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  • Created by: rhiannon
  • Created on: 09-05-13 10:54

Explain how Aristotle’s virtue theory was developed by Anscombe and MacIntyre.

Aristotle’s virtue theory is a systematic study of how one should live their life. Aristotle’s virtue theory was based on the principle of a person achieving the ultimate end – good and achieving happiness – eudemonia. His inspiration was taken from Athenian Virtue.
Aristotle’s virtue theory is a practical study as well as a theoretical study. He wanted one to act in a good way, not just understand what good actions are. With this in mind, Aristotle’s ‘virtue theory is an activity of the soul in conjunction with reason, logos.’
Aristotle out lined things which include, friendship, the doctrine of the mean and the soul. By using all of these three things by achieving their subordinate and supreme aim, one can achieve what the goal of virtue theory is.
In ‘Nichomachean Ethics’, Aristotle took his inspiration from Athenian Ethics where he developed the concept of the soul, the 12 moral virtues which are the doctrine of the mean and also 9 intellectual virtues which are split in to 5 primary virtues and 4 secondary virtues. The virtues is one of the main problems, as when philosophers looked at them, they understood that every situation is different. Therefore; two philosophers including MacIntyre and Anscombe developed what they think is the best way.
MacIntyre tries to revive Aristotelian ethics, but his main ethical aim is what is best for society today. MacIntyre wanted everyone to be aware of what they were aiming for within happiness of the society. For MacIntyre, when he looked at the history of virtue and ethics, he realised that we spend too much time on rationality and reasoning rather than us, as an individual.
MacIntyre understood that we have to focus on people and the context in which they live their lives. For MacIntyre, he justified the way in which you act as being a portrait of the type of person you are. He agreed with trying to stick to the doctrine of the mean, however, in some cases the right thing to do is to be rash and not courageous. Therefore, MacIntyre felt that this area needed to be developed. He said that if one does a good thing, they should be rewarded, and if they do badly they should be punished.
Macintyre’s influence was found in the old Greek literature of Homer. He was interested in finding out the qualities that make a person good and defining them as good. This is unlike the way in which anyone who treads the virtuous mean in Aristotle’s virtue theory is a good person. He studied the epic poems such as The Odyssey and the Lliad. They define a…

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