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

virtue ethis

Extracts from this document...


Explain Virtue Ethics.(33) Many important philosophers have made theories on virtue ethics from early Greek philosophers like Aristotle and Plato to modern philosophers such as Carol Gilligan, Alasdair MacIntyre, Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa foot, Slote and Noddings. Virtue ethics was originally introduced to society by Aristotle 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. Instead of concentrating on what is the right thing to do, virtue ethics asks how you can be a better person. Ethical questions, therefore, should not be about whether one or another choice is morally right, but whether the person himself or herself is a good person. The personal character of the person is what matters; morality is involved with developing your own virtues in order to become the right kind of person. Virtue ethics then, does not ask: "What is the right thing to do?" but "What sort of person should I aim to become?" Aristotle claims that leading a virtuous life is easy, and those who do, do so to be happy. Happiness is the ultimate goal for everyone in life. This is known as Eudaimonia. ...read more.


The virtue theory is therefore better suited to real life as the definition of a word doesn't always matter if people understand it any way without an exact definition. MacIntyre is also trying to find a way of enabling everybody to face or cope with different moral situations even though virtues improve or become clearer over time. Therefore what was seen a virtuous in the past may no be relevant in today's society because of changes to it, so virtues must adapt to suit the times, however this does not mean that virtues haven't been picked up and passed on and MacIntyre has identified this. 'Moral relativist theories are too vague to be used as guides to decision-making.' Discuss.(17) Many people would agree with this statement and argue that natural law theories are better to be used as a guide to decision-making as it is an absolute deontological view of morality. Natural law enables people to establish common rules in order to structure communities. Natural law goes beyond and religion or culture and works in the same way for every nationality. Natural law lays down rules that many people need to be able to walk in the right direction throughout life. ...read more.


Situation ethics encourages people to think for themselves and use their common sense instead of just following rules. Situation ethics also lets people decide on what is the most loving thing to do in a situation. Virtue ethics also places much less emphasis on what rules people should follow in their everyday life on earth an instead focuses on helping people develop their character such as kindness, caring and generosity. Therefore we are made into a better person. Certain virtues are necessary for correct moral decisions is to say that correct require correct motives. Also virtue theories promise that once we are successful in creating the sort of person we want to be, then arriving at and making decisions will come to us naturally for the rest of our lives as we have achieved the good person we want to be. Therefore many people would argue that natural law and absolute theories are too vague to be used as a guide for decision making as they does not give people the opportunity to be independent and make moral decisions using their own common sense in the same way as moral relativist theories do. Instead it just lays down rules that we should all follow without giving any independency or choice of what we believe is right and wrong. ...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. What is the relationship between religion and morality?

    the vast majesty of the world's population, then how will children ever learn to respect any one at all.

  2. Explain how Macintyre's or Aristotle's account of a life lived in accordance with virtues ...

    Possessions and purchasing power are addictive but ultimately ephemeral things. We can lose them overnight, they can become stolen, broken, become unfashionable, last year's, last month's, last week's style. So what is the thing that we have forever, that no one can take away, that is beneficial not harmful to human beings?

  1. Christian Aid - A Charity Helping Poverty

    A new report from Jubilee Research at the New Economics Foundation reveals that the debt cancellation programme is working, and is therefore a good campaign. The report examines public spending in 10 African countries, which have benefited from debt cancellation.

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

    still have to work out itself out in the person's next life. People who are caring terminal ill patients should do all they can to help them and make them more comfortable, but they should not end the patient's life.

  1. Aristotle - Virtue Ethics Essay

    Virtue ethics holds that the 'higher pleasures' of which Mill speaks, can be experienced by improving oneself and becoming increasingly virtuous. Notwithstanding however the faults of utilitarianism, it is a timeless ethical theory and could be applied to any period of history and is equally valid in a modern society

  2. Analysis of Moral Luck Views of Aristotle and Epictetus.

    Moreover, he states that, if you act by the handbook, luck will not impact your goal of living a tranquilized life. Epictetus, one of the most known Stoic philosophers, studies particularly disastrous and unexpected situations. Since ITA includes some disastrous events, it will be more efficient to analyze ITA from Epictetus' point of view.

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

    For example, if a person donated $1,000 to a charity that provided starving children with food when they could have donated $1,050 and in doing so created even more good, their action would be judged as wrong by Utilitarianism. In response to criticism of this nature the contemporary philosopher and

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

    source of knowledge that could possibly contribute to a true acquisition of ethics and the ability to use those ethical judgements. Plato alerted us that there is a difference between the world we live in, the world of the particulars, and the world of the unchanging and true forms.

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