virtue ethics

The theory of ethics that takes the notion of virtue as primary, rather than a view either of the ‘good’, for the sake of which we act, or of duty, law or reason thought of as providing rules of action. Virtue ethics is typically modelled on the work of Aristotle (especially the Nicomachean Ethics ), although other virtues than those that he recognized may be introduced. At a superficial level virtue ethics may establish more or less peaceful relationships with the ethics of Hume, Kant, the Thomist and the utilitarian traditions. But the basic theoretical difference remains that for these thinkers virtues are derivative, prized for ends they serve or duties they enable us to perform, whereas for virtue ethics the direction of explanation must be reversed, with virtue providing the concept with which to elucidate happiness, duty, and practical reason. This actually makes Aristotle, for whom the concept of eudaimonia is fundamental, only an impure predecessor of virtue ethics. The main problem for the approach is to account for how the virtuous agent thinks, as courses of action are contemplated, without admitting that it will be in terms of duties, or consequences, which thereby regain a certain priority.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Virtue ethics — Virtue theory is a branch of moral philosophy that emphasizes character, rather than rules or consequences, as the key element of ethical thinking. In the West virtue ethics was the prevailing approach to ethical thinking in the ancient and… …   Wikipedia

  • virtue ethics — Approach to ethics that takes the notion of virtue (often conceived as excellence) as fundamental. Virtue ethics is primarily concerned with traits of character that are essential to human flourishing, not with the enumeration of duties. It falls …   Universalium

  • virtue ethics —    see ethics, virtue …   Christian Philosophy

  • virtue ethic — virtue ethics …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Virtue epistemology — is a contemporary philosophical approach to epistemology that stresses the importance of intellectual (epistemic) virtues. It combines the central tenants of virtue theory (also called “virtue ethics”), with classical epistemological… …   Wikipedia

  • Virtue — (Latin virtus ; Greek Polytonic|ἀρετή) is moral excellence. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting individual and collective well being, and thus good by definition. The opposite of virtue is vice.Etymologically the word virtue… …   Wikipedia

  • ethics, virtue —    Virtue ethics is the approach to ethics that sees the fundamental bearers of moral properties as being agents rather than actions or states of affairs. The supporters of this approach tend to see it as a return to a medieval ethics harking… …   Christian Philosophy

  • ethics — /eth iks/, 1. (used with a sing. or pl. v.) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture. 2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics;… …   Universalium

  • Ethics — For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). Philosophy …   Wikipedia

  • Virtue jurisprudence — In the philosophy of law, virtue jurisprudence is the name given to theories of law related to virtue ethics. By making the aretaic turn in legal theory, virtue jurisprudence focuses on the importance of character and human excellence or virtue… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.