'Virtue Ethics Is of Little Use When Dealing with Practical Ethics

Topics: Ethics, Virtue, Virtue ethics Pages: 3 (1086 words) Published: March 5, 2013
'Virtue ethics is of little use when dealing with practical ethics'.

It's argued that virtue ethics is of little use when dealing with practical ethics. Virtue ethics doesn't focus on actions being right or wrong, but on how to be a good person. Virtue ethics raises three questions - who am I?, who do I ought to become?, and lastly, how do I get there? Then there is practical ethics describes situations where an action is needed.

Virtue ethics goes back to Plato and Aristotle. Plato's moral theory centers on the achievement of man's highest good, which involves the right cultivation of his soul and the well being of his life (eudaimonia). Plato considered that certain virtues such as courage, justice and prudence (cardinal virtues), are in balance that a person's actions will be good. It's a motivation for people to want to be good. It shows the importance of education in showing that good actions are their own rewards. When these virtues are in balance a person's actions will be good and therefore would disagree that virtue ethics is of little use.

Aristotle's ethical theory is known as virtue ethics because at the centre of his description of the good, which are the virtues which shape human character and human behaviour. However, this good human life is one lived in harmony and cooperation with other people, since Aristotle saw people as not only rational beings but as also social beings too.

Aristotle saw two types of virtues, intellectual virtues and moral virtues. Aristotle compares the virtues to skills acquired through habit and practice, for example, we acquire a skill by practising the activities involved in the skill. To become virtuous is like playing a musical instrument - it needs a lot of practice frequently. Aristotle believed that all people have the potential to develop moral and intellectual virtues, only a few actually achieve this though - these were great gentlemen philosophers and today we could say that this...
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