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Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics


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Chapter 8: Virtue Based Ethics

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