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Ethical theories

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Ethical theories Virtue Ethics Virtue Ethics Virtue ethics works by asking: Christianity is an example of religious virtue ethics. It is also used to evaluate entire ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Ethical theories


1
Ethical theories
  • Virtue Ethics

2
Virtue Ethics
  • A category of ethical theories which see actions
    as right or wrong depending on whether or not
    they are conductive to or flow from a good
    character.

They are sometimes referred to as hero ethics
3
Virtue ethics works by asking
what would the hero do in this situation?
Or, if contemplating an action
would the hero do this or avoid it?
4
(No Transcript)
5
So
We should act in a way that is conductive to a
good character, an ideal person
and
We should avoid the things that are counter
productive to the formation of good character.
6
Christianity is an example of religious virtue
ethics.
According to this view Jesus is the ideal and
followers ought to be more Jesus-like.
7
Virtue ethics do not set a minimal goal, but
rather they set an ideal goal. It is not, Do
not break the rule But rather Strive for
excellence!
8
Virtue Ethics is very often used in professional
ethics (How would an ideal doctor/lawyer
behave?)
9
It is also used to evaluate entire societies.
  • the us is the only modern western society to
    still employ the death sentence.
  • i.e. no civilised (virtuous) nation employs the
    death penalty.
  • Any compassionate , enlightened (virtuous)
    society would guarantee minimal healthcare to its
    citizens

10
Problems
  • Where do these standards come from?
  • What justifies them?

2. Is there one set of standards for all human
beings?
3. It only provides vague guidance as to
specific behaviour
E.g. driving be courteous, kind rather than
drive on the left.
11
The main Principles of Virtue Ethics
  • Based on the Philosophy of Aristotle and revived
    by MacIntyre and Anscombe
  • Based on Character not actions
  • Greek concept arête - virtue excellence
  • Virtue (Aristotle) an inner state arising from
    harmony,
  • health, beauty and strength of character.
  • Actions are good when they enhance the inner
    state.
  • three characteristics have to be in harmony
    wisdom, coverage/self-control

12
  • what sort of person ought I be rather than
    what
  • should I do?
  • Balanced personality leads to good actions
  • Aristotle's division of moral and intellectual
    virtues

Intellectual
Moral
justice
intelligence
friendliness
Practical wisdom
courage
patience
Technical and scientific skills
13
  • The two virtues combine to allow a person to
    live a happy satisfying life
  • Eudaimonia (a contented state of being happy
    and
  • healthy and prosperous) the final goal of Human
    activity.
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