Lecture 8 - Lecture 8 Objectives After learning this...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
1. Present the basic arguments concerning virtue ethics. 2. Understand the Doctrine of the Mean in Aristotle and Confucius. 3. Discuss the nature of the relationship between feeling and virtue. 4. Understand the issues concerned with feminist care ethics. 5. Reflect on the principles of moral integrity and the unity of virtue. 6. Compare and contrast the relationship of virtue to different ideas concerning moral education. Welcome back! The last lecture continued to explore some of the ideas that imply that morality and ethics are based on universal principles. Specifically we studied deontology (the ethics of duty) and rights ethics to help us understand how these theories influence our understanding of what is good. In this lecture we will present a final ethical theory called virtue ethics. The emphasis here is on becoming a good person rather than on following specific moral guidelines. How we become virtuous depends partially on how you answer the question of whether we are born good, evil or neutral. In the process we will seek to understand whether virtue itself is relative or universal. Virtue Ethics and Character There are people who do good things without being able to give a so-called “reason” for doing so. They may never have studied ethics and might not know the difference between duty ethics and utilitarianism. Yet they do good and desire to do good. This is because goodness springs from who they are rather than what they believe or think. “Virtue ethics emphasizes right being over right action . The sort of person we are constitutes the heart of our moral life. More important than the rules or principles we follow is our character. A person of virtuous character can be depended upon to do the right thing. Virtue ethics, however, is not an alternative to ethical theories that stress right conduct, such as utilitarianism and deontological theories. Rather, virtue ethics and theories of right action complement each other” (Judith A. Boss, Ethics For Life: A Text With Readings, Fourth Edition , [New York, New York: McGraw Hill, 2008] p. 400. Hereafter referred to as Boss.) Some people think that all of the effort we put into trying to figure out what is right is a waste of time. If we would focus our energy on simply becoming a person of virtuous character then we would not need to worry about what is best; we would simply act in the best way possible for all concerned. In reality it might not be all that simple. People of good character do not always agree on what is best and sometimes must struggle with uncertainty, but it is still an important part of the equation. If we both develop our character and learn the rules we have covered so far in this course then we have a much better chance of living authentic lives of goodness and being able to live without regrets. What is a Virtue?
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 09/19/2010 for the course PHILOSOPHY phil taught by Professor Brown during the Spring '10 term at Indiana Institute of Technology.

Page1 / 16

Lecture 8 - Lecture 8 Objectives After learning this...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online