• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain Aristotles Virtue Ethics and how this has been developed by later thinkers

Extracts from this document...


'Explain Aristotle's Virtue Ethics and how this has been developed by later thinkers. (30 marks)' Virtue ethics concentrates on human character and asks how a person can be a better person. This is tackled by defining good persons and the qualities that make them good. Virtue theory believes that right character becomes before right behaviour, be pay less attention to actions and consequences, and concentrate with the character of the moral agent in any given situation. Although Virtue theory does not ignore actions and consequences - it still asks the question 'What is it right or obligatory to do?' - the question of focus is 'How should we be?', as through this theory it is believed that only by becoming better people that a person will do the right thing. Aristotle's view of virtue ethics is approached in his work Nicomachean Ethics, in which he argues that when an individual undertakes some form of action it is for an end purpose, and that the ultimate end of all ends is the chief good, the greatest good. ...read more.


It is also believed that upon becoming virtuous, other persons will be more inclined to become so too, as it is insinuated that by seeing virtues persons then do virtuous things, thus creating more 'rightness'. MacIntyre is similar in one sense to Aristotle and the whole concept of Virtue theory that moral wisdom is of a large significance but differs in a sense as this gentleman focuses on not only good (virtuous) persons doing 'right' but also comments on how this also benefits society as a whole (Aristotle does touch upon this but implicitly; he is more focuses on individual persons) - something which he believes is 'morally in decline due to ethics losing itself'. Virtuous persons turn into virtuous societies, something very important for the future prosper of mankind. For example, in previous societies (whereby much less 'wrongness' was undertaken) courage was a measure of the quality of an individual and is essential to sustain a household and community; Courageous persons can be relied on and so are important in relationship, be it employee-employer or otherwise; Fidelity ensures persons are supportive and helpful. ...read more.


Foot illustrates that persons who are tempted to steal when the opportunity presents itself (and do not) is still virtuous, but not as virtuous and as developed as persons whom have the opportunity (and do not steal) where the temptation and need is much stronger, for example persons whom have a starving family. Of course this example brings up entirely different ethics within itself, but to Foot, whilst stealing would make them 'happy' it does nothing for their human development. In conclusion, we can see that Virtue theory is much different to other areas of ethics; it does not focus on defining principles by which we should act (good persons are defined and what makes them good); it does not believe that good behaviour comes before right character (it is the opposite); it does not focus upon actions and (most loving) consequences (what is important is the character of moral persons). The theory's stance is upon human development which was later adapted to include society's development and more specific virtues. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Christianity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Christianity essays

  1. Situation ethics. Joseph Fletcher developed the idea of making a moral decision for a ...

    Joseph Fletcher puts Situation Ethics into two categories: Fundamental principles and Working Principles. The four working principles are: Pragmatism which means the proposed course of action must work and work towards the end which is love. Relativism meaning there are no absolute fixed rules that must be obeyed, except love.

  2. Outline and explain the issues included in uncovering the historical Patrick (30 Marks)

    This has led to some historians assuming he spent a significant portion of his life there, most likely undergoing clerical training. Patrick says he wishes to visit Gaul to see the Brethen, which may have been a desire to visit friends he made during his training.

  1. Compare and contrast the key features of Natural Moral Law & Virtue Ethics

    Therefore the between Shamelessness (a vice of deficiency) and Bashfulness (a vice of excess), the mid-point of 'Golden Mean' would be Modesty. Therefore if you don't have enough modesty you would become shameful, and if you have an extreme of modesty, you become bashful.

  2. Cyrano de Bergerac Act V Character List.

    But you-because of you I have had one friend not quite all a friend-Across my life, one whispering silken gown." *After the previous quote, Le Bret says "Your other friend is looking at you" and Cyrano says, "I see." * Le Bret points out the moon and Cyrano's friend: "Le

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work