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Topics: Ethics, Virtue, Virtue ethics Pages: 2 (970 words) Published: April 22, 2014
Explain virtue ethics –

Virtue ethics is agent-centred not act centred. The theory is that practicing virtuous behaviour will lead to become a virtuous person and contributing to a virtuous society. A virtue is habitually doing what was right – being good requires practice of a certain kind of behaviour. This is different from very other ethical theories because it looks at the characteristics of a person (agent-centred) rather than the actual act (act centred).

There are a few scholars that talk about virtue ethics, to start; Plato, who’s moral theory is not one of judging particular actions, it centres around the achievement of man’s highest good, which involves the right cultivation of his soul, and the harmonious well being of his life (eudomonia or happiness). Plato believed that happiness must be attained through the pursuit of virtue and good actions when trying to achieve happiness. Plato consider certain virtues central, such as temperance, courage, prudence and justice – and they are called Cardinal Virtues. Plato thought that when these virtues are in balance a person’s action would be good.

However, even though Plato’s theory of Virtue ethics seemed justified, some Greek philosophers disagreed about which virtues were central.

Another key scholar is our good friend Aristotle; his goal was to give an account of the structure of morality and explained his point – “For we are enquiring not in order to know what virtue is, but in order to become good since otherwise our enquiry would be of no use”. Aristotle distinguished between things which are good as means (for the sake of someone else) and things, which are good as ends (for their own sake only). He sees one final and overriding end of human activity, one final good – eudemonia or happiness. Aristotle’s ethical theory is known as Virtue ethics or Aretaic ethic because at the centre of his description of the good are the virtues, which shape human character and behaviour, he suggests...
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