• 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. How Does Virtue Ethics apply to Business Ethics?

    The major problem is that you are prioritising the want for more money over the welfare of your workers this shows a deficiency in ones character. To be virtuous the only way to show this is how you treat people.

  2. Should our moral beliefs be based on the utilitarian principle of securing the greatest ...

    Therefore, ethically and morally they are doing the right thing. Kantianism reminds us the question: Should we just focus on the positive outcome or should we also focus on the actions we take? Except Kant's opposite theory to utilitarian theory, there are some other criticisms and objections.

  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. Problems with Utilitarian and Kantian Ethics.

    One interesting argument that Harwood presents is that utilitarianism requires us to enter to the experience machine mentioned in an earlier chapter of our text. It is maintained that we should spend our life in the experience machine for it could be set to maximum satisfaction.

  1. Aristotle's Virtue Ethics

    To understand this we have to first unpack it. In virtue ethics when deciding what is morally right, we have to take the persons emotions into account, as they play a prime role in this theory. We know what is right by educating ourselves of certain feelings and emotions so

  2. Discuss whether moral judgments are subjective or objective

    One piece of advice may provoke different reaction sin some to others and therefore this approach has no consistency. People have different experiences to draw on; thus someone who had worked with street children in Brazil may believe that in certain cases to steal for food if your starving is

  1. Religion and Medical Ethics

    medicine to bring family life, which all Muslims are expected to have. Muslims also agree with infertility as long as the egg and the sperm are from the mother and father (using AIH and IVF, which is the same as the Christians believe).

  2. Virtue Ethics

    and that the mistake has been to associate good with actions rather than people. She argued that responsibility to follow rules made absolutely no sense without faith in God. She thought that a person's character is the key to eudaimonia, and believed we should return to Aristotle.

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