Virtue Ethics Until now we have been concerned with the question of what the right thing to do is.

The Question “What kind of person should you be?” A question of character. Good people are virtuous. Bad people are not. What is a Virtue? A virtue is trait of character manifested in habitual action. Aristotle is concerned with teleology, thus, virtues have a telos. A virtuous teacher may have the following virtues: Patient Articulate Knowledgeable A virtuous mechanic may have the following virtues: Skillful Honest Conscientious Intellectual (Prudential) Virtues vs. Moral Virtues What is the purpose for all people? Eudaimonia or Flourishing The virtues that Aristotle is interested in are those that contribute to Eudaimonia. Notice—this means they are the same for all people, as we all have the same telos. Examples: Courage Honesty Benevolence

The Middle Path Each virtue is a mid-way point between 2 vices: Foolhardiness Extravagance It’s a Matter of Education The virtuous must be habituated. Courage Generosity Cowardice Stinginess

The Ethics of Care (This is the chapter that we skipped in the reading. You are not required to do the reading, but there may be new material presented during lecture.) This is Virtue Ethics with a focus on the virtues that apply to interpersonal relationships. Notice, this could be thought of as simply virtue ethics for private life (rather than public). Questions for the Ethics of Care as a “feminist ethics.”: Do men and women think differently? If so, why? Nature vs. Nurture Might there only be a difference in focus? Yet the reasoning is the same? What is the right way to think about Heinz’s Dilemma? Is a focus on principles a preferred way to think about morality? The Benefits of Virtue Ethics How do you pick your presidential candidate? Friends? Allows focus on family and friends. Environmental Ethics, Animals The Problem of Incompleteness A virtue theorist would look at the theories of right action we have looked at and ask—what about being a good person? Don’t motives count? A theorist interested in right action would look at virtue theory and ask—what about right and wrong action? Isn’t there more to it than motive? Is right/wrong action simply what a virtuous person would do? Maybe this is best considered a supplemental theory, or “part” of a complete ethics. A further question: Doesn’t this pre-suppose a theory of the good life? Is it correct? How do we determine our telos?

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