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

Explain The Alternative View To Virtue Ethics

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain The Alternative View To Virtue Ethics Virtue theory is the view that the foundation of morality is the development of good character traits, or virtues. A person is good, then, if he has virtues and lacks vices. Some virtue theorists mention as many as 100 virtuous character traits, which contribute to making someone a good person. Virtue theory places special emphasis on moral education since virtuous character traits are developed in one's youth; adults, therefore, are responsible for instilling virtues in the young. The failure to properly develop virtuous character traits will result in the agent acquiring vices or bad character traits instead. Vices include cowardice, insensibility, injustice, and vanity. Virtue ethics says that it is not only important to do the right thing, but also to have the required dispositions, motivations, and emotions in being good and doing right. We should enjoy doing good because we are good. It isn't only about action but also about emotions, character, and moral habits. ...read more.

Middle

For example, some virtue theories tell us to habituate rule following, because we want to develop character, or an internalisation of the rules, a goal, which is allegedly unique to the virtue theory. But in fact this is hardly different from many rule-emphasis theories. Once we commit ourselves to a particular kind of moral action, once we have habituated ourselves to choosing it, we typically find that it becomes relatively easy to follow. But this realisation is not solely the property of virtue ethics; rule-based ethical systems too seek habituation of rules for the formation of character. As another example, consider that virtue theories often suggest that long lists of rules are impractical and that there is great simplicity or moral economy in offering a virtue-imperative. We might be told that "Love your wife!" requires much more of us than "Don't commit adultery, and spend time talking with your wife, and take your wife out on dates from time to time", etc., suggesting that typical rule-based theories simply cannot capture the full force of a virtue-imperative. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mill tells us that those actions are moral which maximise happiness and minimise harm for the greatest number. So, if you are contemplating a particular action, but are not sure whether your decision is a moral one, you could readily employ Mill's principle by asking whether it would in fact promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Virtue ethics wishes to avoid moral calculi for the determination of correct action. Virtue theorists emphasise the admitted difficulties of employing these formulae together with the suggestion that we ought to abandon them in favour of their alternative systems. We ought instead, we are told, to concentrate on the kinds of persons we ought to be, rather than the particular actions we should take. Since persons of appropriate moral character do good deeds, we would save ourselves the headaches of having to employ complicated theories especially if those theories do not often offer us very convincing results. A virtue theorist will try to show us that rule-following systems are open to more objections than that they are difficult to employ. Secondly, he will tell us that virtue ethics makes the whole task of living a moral life a good deal simpler and quite intuitive. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Ethics 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 GCSE Ethics essays

  1. Aristotle - Virtue Ethics Essay

    should have the drive to do what will benefit oneself and one's character. Therefore, for Aristotle, by giving to charity and not exploiting workers in a business by underpaying them or providing them with poor working conditions, would benefit one's character because the right choice has been made, and is one more step closer to virtue.

  2. Explain how Aristotle and Alasdair Macintyre applied Virtue Theory to moral decision making?

    Macintyre's views are deeply critical of many of the same notions, like Aristotle's. However, he also attempts to give an account of virtue. He believed that there was a destruction of moral conduct after the 18th century enlightenment. As such he rejected the three divisions formed after this enlightenment.

  1. Assess The Strengths / Weaknesses Of Virtue Ethics

    Of course, they were never meant to do this, so this is a bit of a straw man criticism; they were only designed to tell us what the good life is, not to motivate us to want it. But motivating people to desire goodness, to internalise it is very much within the interest of educators.

  2. A classmate has cheated. You have seen him/her. Discuss the several elements from a ...

    He/she should also avoid being dishonest and cheat even without preparation in advance. Secondly, the "Duty Theory" can be applied in the case. The theories are based on specific and basic principles of obligation which show clearer on what do you and what not to do.

  1. Explain the theory of Virtue Ethics.

    It is a matter of personal goals but these goals are also grounded in what it is to be human. St Thomas Aquinas expressed that all human actions are moral actions. For example a footballer has to train and practice, would be virtuous has to train himself in a virtuous behavior.

  2. Utilitarianism is a contrast to classic approaches to ethics. One of the main features ...

    There are three main criticisms, justice, rights and looking back at the past. And, is happiness all that matters? Justice- Utilitarianism is an amoral approach as an ethical theory; therefore it can justify actions that ordinarily we would find adherent- torturing terrorists.

  1. How Does Virtue Ethics apply to Business Ethics?

    firms only aim is to maximise profits and has no social responsibility would be absolutely contested by Macintyre, who would argue that money is not the end rather a means to a further end of social responsibility. Kindness would be an important virtue to own, and with this character trait

  2. Aristotle's Virtue Ethics

    The main accomplishment in Eudaimonia is gaining a sense of achievement, success and moral excellence; which is an imperative to the hedonistic view of pleasure. Aristotle believes that human beings have a special 'function', the Greek translation being 'ergon'. This function is special in each individual, and is not found

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