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Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics
Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics
Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics
Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics
Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics
Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics
Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics
Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics
Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics
Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics
Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics
Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics
Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics
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Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics


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  • 1.
    • Aretaic Ethics:
    • Come from the Greek word arete which translates as “excellence” or “virtue”
    • The virtue or value of the actions is not in the act, but is in the heart of the actor.
    • Virtue Ethics emphasizes being a certain person with a certain quality of character.
  • 2.
    • Seeks to produce excellent persons.
    • Seeks to have people act out of spontaneous goodness.
    • Seeks to have those who are excellent inspire others.
    • Aretic Ethics focuses on the goal of life which is to live well and achieve excellence.
  • 3.
    • Action Based Ethics Lack a Motivational Component
    • Action Based Ethics are Founded on a Theological-Legal Model that is No Longer Appropriate
    • Action Based Ethics Often Ignore the Spiritual Dimension of Ethics
    • Action Based Ethics Over Emphasize Autonomy and Neglect the Communal Context
  • 4.
    • Virtue Ethics claims that it is important to not only do the right thing, but also to have the correct disposition, motivation, and emotion in being good and doing right.
    • Virtue Ethics is not only about action, but also about emotions, characters, and moral habits.
    • The virtues are: excellences of character, trained behavioral dispositions which result in habitual actions of the same quality.
  • 5.
    • Honesty
    • Benevolence
    • Nonmalevolence
    • Fairness
    • Kindness
    • Conscientiousness
    • Gratitude
  • 6.
    • Courage
    • Optimism
    • Rationality
    • Self-Control
    • Patience
    • Endurance
    • Industry
    • Musical Talent
    • Cleanliness
    • Wit
  • 7.
    • To achieve a state of well being (eudaimonia), proper social institutions are necessary.
    • The moral person cannot exist apart from a political setting that enables him or her to develop the requisite virtues for the good life.
    • Ethics is therefore considered a branch of politics.
  • 8.
    • Humanity has an essence, or function.
    • The function of humans is to use their reason in pursuit of the good life.
    • Moral virtues are different from intellectual ones.
    • By living well, we acquire the right habits.
    • These habits are the virtues.
  • 9.
    • Virtues exist between a mean that has excess and deficiency at either end.
    • We need to choose along this mean the proper course of action, towards the right conclusion.
    • People have unequal ability to be virtuous. Some have great ability; some lack it entirely.
    • Some people are worthless, natural slaves.
  • 10.
    • Father Maximilian Kolbe
    • Jesus
    • Socrates
    • Gandhi
    • Mother Theresa
    • All of their lives have exhibited appropriate attitudes and dispositions of Virtue Ethics.
  • 11.
    • Pure Aretaic Ethics: Virtues are dominant and have intrinsic value.
    • Standard Deontic Ethics: Action guiding principles are the essence of morality.
    • Complementarity Ethics or Pluralist Ethics:
    • Holds that both Aretaic and Deontic Ethics are necessary for an adequate and complete system.
  • 12.
    • Carol Gilligan: Research indicates that on average a woman’s moral point of view is different from a man’s moral point of view.
    • Women focus on particular relationships.
    • Women focus on the process, not on the principles.
    • Men focus on the principles of justice and rights.
  • 13.
    • Gilligan states that the two perspectives are not competitive, but that men and women develop their moral outlooks in a different manner.
    • Care-Ethics: The thesis that attitudes like caring and sensitivity to context are an important aspect of the moral life.
    • This is close to the Christian ethical theory of Agapeism (Agape is Greek for love).