Module 6 : Chapter 7 Reading Questions (M6A1) Please do each of the following items. Write your answers under each heading here and submit this whole document. Where needed, please number your answers and separate them with spaces. A. Answer the 10 Review Questions under Exercises on page 144. 1. Virtue ethics differs from duty-based ethics because virtue ethics is a theory of morality that makes virtue the central concern. Duty-based ethics are concerned with what people do, not with the consequences of their actions. For example, when confronted with a problem, a duty-based person asks, ‘what should I do?’ However, a virtue ethicist asks, ‘what should I be?’ A person asking ‘what should I do’ is mainly concerned with the rules and how they should follow them, a duty based ethical view point. Whereas a person asking ‘what should I be,’ the moral conduct emanates from a person’s moral virtues, from his/her moral character, not from the obedience of laws. 2. Aristotle’s virtue ethics are considered teleological because his ethics are coherent, virtue based view that interlocks with his broader philosophical concerns—his theories about causation, society, self, education, mind, and meta-physics. He says that the moral life consists not in following moral rules that stipulate right action but in striving to be a particular kind of person— a virtuous person whose actions stem naturally from virtuous character. Every living being has an end goal that he naturally strives for. This makes life teleological; it is meant not just to be something but to aspire towards something. 3. According to Aristotle, humans must fulfill the function that is natural and distinctive to them to achieve eudaimonia. They must live fully in accordance with reason. The life of reason entails a life of virtue because the virtues themselves are rational modes of behaving. 4. A virtue is a stable disposition to act and feel according to some ideal or model of excellence. It is a deeply embedded character trait that can affect actions in countless situations. Intellectual virtues include wisdom, prudence, and rationality. Moral virtues include fairness, benevolence, honesty, and loyalty. 5. Important elements that virtue ethicists think is missing from traditional duty-based ethics are acting from a virtuous character. Virtues are stable dispositions that naturally include motivations and feelings. For example, contrast the action of someone who methodically aids his sick mother solely out of duty with the person who aids out of sympathy and love. Most people would probably think that acting out of sympathy and love is a better representation of the moral life. 6. Virtue ethicists use moral exemplars by making the primary focus not on abstract reason but on ideal types of persons or on actual ideal persons. Displaying the proper moral example and imitating that person or ideal type this replace casuistic reason as the most significant aspects of moral life.
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- Spring '19
- Lindsay, Annette Baier