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

Explain the theory of Virtue Ethics.

Extracts from this document...


Laura Barrett > Explain the theory of Virtue Ethics Aristotle originally introduced virtue Ethics to society in ancient Greek times. Virtue Ethics tells us that we should look at the character of the person instead of the actions or duties a person performs. Many moral theories work out what the right or good thing to do is. They convey that a set of principles for working out the best choice. Virtue theory rejects the moral theories that suggest that there are no moral laws and when moral statements are simply emotive expressions. Virtue theory provides an alternative route for drawing on the tradition of moral philosophy in a way that's different from the other theories. Rather than looking for rules, it looks at the fundamental issue of what it means to be human. Additionally virtue ethics concentrates on what the right thing to do. In addition it implies on how you can be a better person. It is about defining good people and the qualities that make them good. The roots of virtue theory are mainly in the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Aristotle argues that "whenever we do something, we do it to gain an end, and that ultimate end of all ends is the chief good, the greatest good." ...read more.


Keenan summaries virtue theory in three questions, "Who am I? Who ought I become? How do I get there?" Virtues provide a way of estimating a character, and suggest a direction in which you should go in order to become a better person. Virtue theory is person centered and focused on our development. By knowing this and understanding ourselves, we can practice to be better. Keenan recently suggested improving these theories for the modern day: prudence, justice, fidelity, self-care and the individual Christian virtue of mercy. These are backed up by three theological virtues, faith, charity and hope. MacIntyre sees a moral society as one in which people recongise commonly agreed virtues and aspire to meet them. MacIntyre argues that modern ethics has lost sight of its roots and has forgotten all that has gone before. The virtues improve and clarify themselves over time. He express that virtues is an acquired human quality the possession and exercise of which tends to enable us to achieve those goods which are internal to practices and the lack of which effectively prevents us from achieving any such goods. In a way virtue ethics is about an individual seeking to develop a vision for their life. ...read more.


Alternatively a situationist would look at the circumstances and might come to the conclusion that the most loving thing to do would have an abortion as it may let the girl to grow up in the way that she would have been allowed to and in time might forget about the rape. In conclusion personally I believe Moral relativist theories are too vague to be useful guides to decision making as decision making is common sense because from a young age we have been taught what is good and evil. But how people perceive what is good and what is evil and how to we come to know which is which is not decided as many people have different perceptions on it. In many circumstances though many people think it is best to let their passions to guide to whatever they want. I consider that there's a common sense that there are some things that are just wrong and can never be right on any grounds. A believed loving end could justify actions that many other people think it is simply wrong. BIBLOGRAPHY www.ask.co.uk - then the links that were provided www.yahoo.co.uk - then the links that were provided "Ethical Studies" by Robert A Bowie Class notes ...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

    Kant provides a strong moral framework for the rights of human beings and each human's intrinsic worth, and in this sense it is a superior theory to that of Aristotle's virtue ethics because Aristotle saw human beings in terms of the philosophers, politicians and the masses and so not all

  2. Christian Aid - A Charity Helping Poverty

    In 1949 the income was at a total of �29,000. The name of Christian aid was adopted in 1964. In the fifties Christian aids main work was in refugees. In 1959 there total income was �483,000. In the sixties Christian Aid responded quickly to the growing food shortage in the world.

  1. Explain how a Hindu marriage service might guide a couple in their married life?

    They would be particularly keen to try methods such as IVF using the eggs and the sperm from both partners. In many parts of India, fertility treatment is not a possibility. It is something which is available for the rich, and for people who live in the cities with access to the hospitals.

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

    Lastly are the seven capital vices. The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, are a classification of vices used in early Christian teachings to teach and protect followers from immoral sins. The Roman Catholic Church divides sin into two types: venial (forgiven through any sacramental)

  1. Compare and contrast Plato and Aristotle on the acquisition of ethical understanding.

    He asserts that as virtues are not feelings or dispositions, virtues are habits. Hughes criticised this argument as he stated that there are other conditions in the soul which have not been examined, such as thoughts, memories, images and learned skills.

  2. Virtue Ethics

    This, as expressed by Robert Louden, does not help someone faced with a moral dilemma. For example, a women has four children, her house is burning down. She has already saved three of the four children but the remaining child is still in the house.

  1. With reference to abortion, examine and comment on the view that the sanctity of ...

    This is clear from the principals of the theory, therefore, there are no absolutes in the theory, if all that matters is the end result to define the morality of an action, and then potentially anything can be done in order to achieve the result.

  2. Explain The Alternative View To Virtue Ethics

    These entities are not the essence of morality. Likewise, even though it is sometimes appropriate to reason about what to do, such deliberating should also give significant attention to feelings such as sympathy and loyalty. The exemplar model of virtue ethics comes into focus in two different ways; either through an examination of ideal types of persons or through following someone that is an ideal type.

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