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Lecture

Virtue Ethics (cont'd)

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 120W
Professor
Sam Black
Semester
Fall

Description
Virtue Ethics (cont’d):  Aristotle: a person who is virtuous is disposed, consistent (honest all the time), and because you do these over and over again, you actually end up enjoying it.  A virtue is something earned, not a given like beauty.  Focus of virtue ethics is: what kind of person do we want to be, what character do we want to develop? o Character-centered ethics  Focus of utilitarianism and kantianism: actions. o Act-centred ethics  Virtue ethics = looking at nature of peoples moral characters, if they have a flawed character  Some say all the virtues depend on each other. To evaluate morality via virtue ethics: 1. Look at character 2. Then at the actions that flow from that character  “Practice what you preach”  Plato – The Gorgias  chasing insatiable desires; if you do one bad thing, you’ll probably do it again and again and again; vice/excess/greed vs. virtue Plato thought we had a soul made of three parts Spirited/desires should be kept at bay and should not flood our reason Should be ruled by reason Strive for a soul full of harmony Strive for moderation, virtue, and harmony If you still can’t figure out if something is moral  What would a virtuous person do? Advantages of VE 1. Accounts for feelings and inclinations unlike Kantianism and Utilitarianism 2. Accounts for special relationships – utilitarianism dema
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