Ethics Test 2 FINAL

Ethics Test 2 FINAL - 1. a) Virtue is not merely based on...

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1. a) Virtue is not merely based on individual, sporadic acts of goodness, but rather, a state of character, and a consistent disposition to do good. According to Aristotle, virtues must come from the soul, so they are either related to character, passions, or faculties. Passions are not virtues because while passions are involuntary, virtues requires a conscious decision. For this same reason, faculties of existence such as sight are also not passions because they are involuntary. b) Hitting the mean is an important concept in Aristotle’s belief on how to be virtuous. The virtuous will feel not only the appropriate emotion, but also the right amount of it, in any given situation. For example, with regards to violence, Achilles is one extreme because he’s easily instigated and ready to kill from the slightest anger, even if the irritant is very inconsequential such as a name-calling or a push. A pacifist, on the other hand, is too servile even when faced with a situation that warrants at least some degree of response. For example, a complete pacifist would not fight for himself if he was getting robbed. To Aristotle, both extremes are not ideal because they indicate a fault in judgement and disposition. An example of hitting the mean could be saying sorry for accidentally pushing someone; not apologizing profusely of not acknowledging them at all There is an exception, however, and that is that not all actions admit to a mean. There are some things that are just wrong. There is no mean. One example would be adultery. Adultery is wrong in every context because the very definition of the word implies badness. c) The strongest argument against virtue ethics is the fact that Aristotle doesn't actually prescribe a way on how to hit the mean. Without knowing how to follow his teachings we may as well just end up at square one since we have no way of actually applying virtue ethics to our everyday lives. In response to this, one could possibly contend that not being able to apply it does not meant that it is an incorrect theory, merely that the mean must first be established.
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This note was uploaded on 01/30/2012 for the course PH 150 taught by Professor M.b. during the Spring '11 term at BU.

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Ethics Test 2 FINAL - 1. a) Virtue is not merely based on...

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