What is Virtue Ethics?

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  • Created by: Abena
  • Created on: 18-03-13 11:17
  • Virtue ethics is neither deontological(act based) or teleological (consequentialist), is is a hybrid of the two types 
  • Virtue ethics was originally formulated in ancient Greece by Aristotle
  • Aristotle - 'ethics is all about character,
    • 'individuals need to be trained to make moral decisions' 
    • 'it then becomes a habit through practice'
    • people of good character do good things Matthew 7:17 - 'all good trees bear fruit'
  • The greek word for virtue (arete) means exellence
  • striving for excellence can benefit others 
  • At the heart of virtue ethics is Eudiamonia (happiness)
  • yet it has more of the characteristic of human flourishing - It's the happiness that comes from within, the happiness we experience from being good people?
  • Virtue's like patience, temeperance and courage help us to flourish
  • According to Aristotle 'virtue is a skill, learnt through observing other virtuous people and praticing and developing the virtues
  • Aristotle distinguishes between 3 types of people in his virtue ethics;
    • A person who lives for contemplation (i.e. a philosopher)
    • Honour seekers (e.g…


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