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Character- Virtue Ethnic.docx

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PHIL 1100

Character- Virtue Ethics  Virtue Ethics: the ethical theory that focuses on the moral quality of individuals rather than their actions o Aristotle was a passionate exponent o Student of Plato, set the tone of virtue ethics o Goal of ethics  to become a virtuous person o Concept of character as a “virtuous character” derived from “to engrave” o Your moral character refers to the integrated totality of your moral traits and dispositions o What is human happiness?  Eudemonia o Aristotle: happiness is an activity of the soul in accordance with complete or perfect virtue  Teleological: the view that everything has a design or purpose o Varies when there are different goals  Entelechy: the principle that reveals that all events occur according to natural design o All elements of the universe embody a distinctive essence or potential o The purpose of which is to achieve full expression  Deontological  duty o Theory of ethics based on what your obligations are; obligations defined in various ways  Two Kinds of Virtues (Aristotle) o Intellectual  Acquired by formal education  Wisdom, knowledge, strategy, rationality, cognitive intelligence, clarity of understanding o Moral  Acquired by practice, developed over time  Habits  Justice, temperance, courage, compassionate, generous, friendly, truthful o “Moral states are the result of activities corresponding to the moral states themselves.” o Rationality in a particular amount – babies not capable of being morally virtuous; children can potentially be  A good person o Know what he/she is doing: if you are acting compassionately, you should know that you are acting that way o Deliberately choose to do it: if it’s accidental, it may still have beneficial consequences but it will not help the person acting to develop compassion o Do it as an example: authentic moral choices should reflect an established and committed moral character o Should try to deliberately be a good person o You can choose to be a good person o Sometimes when you do something vicious, you aren’t a bad person o With other theories, it might mean that o Occasionally, if you do something good, you’re not suddenly a good person o Works both ways o Being virtuous is a life long activity  You can “fall out of practice”  Never too late to become virtuous o The right thing to do is to do what a virtuous person would do  The Golden Mean: in Aristotle’s ethics, th
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