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Outline the main features of virtue ethic

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Outline the main features of virtue ethics. Virtue ethics is person rather than action based it looks at the virtue or moral character of the person carrying out an action, rather than an ethical duty or rule, or even the consequences of particular actions. Virtue ethics not only deals with the rightness or wrongness of the actions of an individual, but it provides guidance to the sort of quality and behaviours a good person will seek to achieve. It's a useful theory since human beings are often more interested in assessing the character of another person than they are in assessing the goodness or badness of a particular action which a person may not usually think about when doing or seeing an action. This suggests that the way to build a good society is to help its members to be good people, rather than to use laws and punishments to prevent or deter bad actions, instead of saying that the person is bad, you can instead say the action they are doing or have done is wrong. Virtue theory asks the question of how you can be a better person and it defines good people and the qualities that make them good. Most virtue ethics theories take their inspiration from Aristotle who was the founder of virtue ethics and said that it is good to be courageous, but that you can have too much courage. ...read more.


Another way, Aristotle would ask if the house, clothes and food would make a poor person happier. If they would, they must be part of this life and it is as good as it gets. Physical well-being, food, clothing, housing etc. are called 'external goods', which shouldn't always have to make a person happy. He argues that modern ethics has lost sight of its roots and has forgotten all that has gone before, he see's that a moral society as one in which people recognise commonly agreed virtues and strive to meet them, those virtues improve and clarify themselves over time. Virtue theory encompasses all aspects of life rather than particular actions, rather than simply looking for rules, virtue ethics looks at the most important issues of what it is to be human, although arguably virtue ethics ultimately depends on moral duty and moral absolutes. It demands that you effectively define the virtue, but how you do this is far from clear, it then offers reintroduction of an important element of ethics that focuses on the person, rather than the act that is being carried out and the consequences at the end. To what extent do the weaknesses outweigh the strengths of the theory? The biggest criticism of Virtue Ethics is that it doesn't give clear guidance on how to act in specific circumstances, although a strength to back ...read more.


Proponents may also mention the strength of virtue ethics to be a simple system based on a universal well-being for the individual and community, meaning that it is easy to follow and to understand making it easy for everyone universally and not being restricted by cultural or religious differences. Other strengths to bring down the weaknesses could be that how do we decide which virtues should be cultivated the most, and in which situations, as it universally applied and easy to follow and understand we may not be sure when and where we should use these virtues making it more complicated then its made out to be, and some virtues may be used I different situations by one person where another may not agree, making it hard to be sure whether your doing the right thing or not. The theory seems to be held in a fine balance of strengths and weaknesses that more than likely outweigh each other giving an equal balance to the argument and theory's and that it is fair to say that they both demonstrate all the issues that is addressed in virtue ethics and is a result that this argument is a good one to follow and rather as it being look at as a theory as a 'tool' in the ethical problem solving it could be seen as a 'tool kit' and instead of only solving one moral dilemma it is able to solve many. Ashleigh Johnson ...read more.

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