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Kant%20%28Part%201%29-page11 - Medical Ethics Harootunian...

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Medical Ethics Harootunian 10/21/11 1 Virtue Ethics A virtue theory of ethics is a normative ethical theory . For a virtue ethicist, the fundamental questions of interest are the fo llowing: “What sort of person should I be? What is it to be a virtuous person ? What is it to be a vicious person?” Virtue ethical theories are still concerned with morally appraising acts, but the appraisal of acts is secondary to the appraisal of a person s character. A morally right act is defined in terms of what a virtuous person would do: An act is morally right if and only if the act is what a virtuous person would do. So a virtue theory of ethics straddles the divide between normative ethics of behavior (NEB) and axiology. In virtue ethics, an axiological determination is first made we determine what is morally good and morally bad. Certain character traits are morally good, others are morally bad. A person whose character is properly constituted by the specified morally good traits is virtuous ; a person whose character is constituted by the specified morally bad traits is vicious . Then a determination in the normative ethics of behavior is made we define an act to be morally right in terms of what is morally good, that is, in terms of what a virtuous person would do. This is to say that virtue ethics gives
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This note was uploaded on 11/07/2011 for the course PHIL 164 taught by Professor Doviak during the Fall '07 term at UMass (Amherst).

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