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To what extent do modern virtue ethics address the weaknesses of Aristotles teachings virtue? (35 marks)

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Introduction

Sam Casson/Page of To what extent do modern virtue ethics address the weaknesses of Aristotle?s teachings virtue? (35 marks) ________________ Aristotelian Virtue ethics is the most developed of the classical philosophy. Virtue Ethics is concerned with the development of ?virtues? within a moral agent. Aristotle argues that a ?virtue? is an ethical quality that lies between excess and deficiency. His book ?Nicomachean Ethics? features a table of personality traits in which there is ?excess? and ?deficiency? and the doctrine of the mean, which outlines the optimum development of an ethical quality, but it is relative to the people involved, it is described in the book as ?that which is neither excessive nor deficient, and this is not one and the same for all?. One example he uses in the table of virtues is ?Shame?, in which shamelessness is excessive and shyness is deficient while modesty lies between them and is the doctrine of the mean. In modern times, Scholars have criticised Aristotle?s Virtue ethics for being too relative, vague and self-centred. Many Modern Ethicists have written their own theories of virtue ethics to try and address some of the issues. ...read more.

Middle

If one advocates the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number and that food could go off; then surely if that food could do the ?greatest good? in the economically developed country that the agent lives in- then it should remain there- because none of it will go off. However, if in the long run, what is left of the food could feed 1000 people, who could eventually change the world- then the greatest good lies in giving the food to them. As explained in this paragraph, Franklin?s virtue ethics are less ambiguous then Aristotle?s, yet they still fail to provide real ethical guidance on how one should behave. Annette Baier and Micheal Slote argue that Aristotle?s Virtue ethics are outdated, and that they do not account for today?s social values. Annette Baier?s ?Ethics of Care? is a theory of Virtue Ethics that aims to address Aristotle?s theories outdated nature. She is a feminist Philosopher who argues that Aristotle?s virtues are androcentric because Aristotle was a man and therefore he thinks of Ethics in his own terms. She argues that terms such as autonomy or justice are male, whereas terms such as caring are female. ...read more.

Conclusion

He describes being virtuous as ?more than having a particular habit of acting eg. Generosity, it means having a fundamental set of related virtues that enable a person to live and act morally?. An issue with both Keenan?s and Aristotle?s teachings of virtue is that a person develops virtues to behave morally, as such they develop the virtue out of their own self-interest, rather than a desire to do good. For example if one develops the virtue of Fidelity, they do it out of their own self-interest- rather than to benefit others, but the acts it produces are moral within themselves. 30/35 Recommendations from teacher: Introduction: Loose the first sentence. First paragraph: ?whereabouts of virtue?. Needs to be followed with this means? for example? and then why is it for CA marks. Second paragraph: to develop comments on Slote. General conclusion comments: ?You have presented some very good ideas. Well explain subject knowledge and good use of evidence and examples. Some good criticism and some good CA, but more of this is needed- see first paragraph. Much more succinct this time; this is excellent?. A01- KNOWLEDGE MARKS 18/21 A02- EVALUATION MARKS 12/14 ...read more.

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