3. Virtue Ethics: Evaluation of Virtue Ethics

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 26-06-17 22:35
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  • 3. Evaluation of Virtue Ethics
    • Strengths
      • Can function well with atheism
        • Elizabeth Anscombe asserts in Modern Moral Philosophy that "a law conception of ethics" is useless in a society that "has effectively abandoned God"
      • Partial
        • Both Kant and MIll require impartiality for their ethical viewpoints
        • Rachels comments that "it may be doubted whether impartiality is really such an important part of the moral life [...] sp,e virtues are partial and some are not. Love and friendship involve partiality"
      • Rosalind Hursthouse
        • Theoretical virtue ethics does not focus on whether an action reflects virtue
          • She uses this to apply virtue ethics to help someone come to a decision
        • Virtue ethics thus does not assert that it is able to solve every problem, but tries to equip us with the virtues to do so
    • Criticisms
      • Robert Louden
        • Objects virtue ethics is a very self-centred way of looking at morality
        • Rather than helping someone out of genuine concern for other person, virtue ethics encourages putting oneself first and choosing a course of action that will be most beneficial to one;s own character
      • The Golden Mean
        • Found in many religious systems
        • Does not work for every virtue
        • Alasdair MacIntyre for example, says compassion does not seem to lie between extremes
      • Law conceptions of ethics are necessary to legislate against crime
        • Whereas no laws can enforce courage or patience
        • William Frankena has argued that "virtues without principles are blind"


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