Aristotles Virtue Ethics How should we distribute the

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Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics

Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics

How should we distribute the guitars? (Who should get one? Why? )

How should we distribute the guitars? (Who should get one? Why? )

Telos Aristotle would argue that we should give the guitars to the best guitar

Telos Aristotle would argue that we should give the guitars to the best guitar players. n Why? n Because the purpose of guitars is to make beautiful music. Therefore, giving them to the best guitar players best accomplishes their purpose. n Telos = purpose, end, or essential nature. n

What is just in a situation? n Aristotle says that in order to determine

What is just in a situation? n Aristotle says that in order to determine what is just in any situation, one must determine the telos of the item, task, or social function. n n n We need to determine the nature and purpose of the task. Otherwise, we have no way of saying what qualities are essential. This leads to the question: what qualities are worthy of honour? The purpose of the task depends on what virtues you think deserve recognition and reward.

Virtues and Happiness n n n Happiness is a result of a virtuous life.

Virtues and Happiness n n n Happiness is a result of a virtuous life. Moral excellence: aligning pleasures and pains, so that we delight in noble things and take pain in base ones. Happiness is not a state of mind, but a way of being, ‘an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. ’”

Moral Education and Lawmaking The way to become virtuous people is to see other

Moral Education and Lawmaking The way to become virtuous people is to see other virtuous people and practice the virtue. n However, how does one practice virtuous behavior if they are not yet virtuous? n The law must encourage virtuous behavior n

However, there is more to virtue than acting virtuous out of habit or because

However, there is more to virtue than acting virtuous out of habit or because of practice. n The virtuous behavior must ultimately be accompanied by an understanding of the virtue and how it should be applied. n There is more to moral excellence than rules. There has to be wisdom and discernment regarding the application of the rules. n

Intentions matter – if you help someone to simply get noticed then you are

Intentions matter – if you help someone to simply get noticed then you are not being virtuous. Note: the utilitarian would not care about your motive n Circumstances matter – if war is brought to you then it is a virtue to kill your enemy to protect the freedom of your country. However if you bring war to another country in order to gain more power then this is certainly not virtuous n

What is a virtue? n A virtue is always found between two extremes

What is a virtue? n A virtue is always found between two extremes

Virtue Ethics is starting to make a comeback in the philosophy of the 21

Virtue Ethics is starting to make a comeback in the philosophy of the 21 st century – especially when people experience the shortcomings of a life pursuing happiness via a different path n The Church bases its rules on virtue ethics n Standard Rule – Be Virtuous n

Teleological Moral Reasoning n n Locates morality in the consequences of the act (Telos

Teleological Moral Reasoning n n Locates morality in the consequences of the act (Telos is Greek for goal, consequence, end, result, purpose) In order to make correct moral choices, we have to have some understanding of what will result from our choices. When we make choices which result in the correct consequences, then we are acting morally; when we make choices which result in the incorrect consequences, then we are acting immorally.

Virtue Ethics n Virtue-based ethical theories focus on helping people develop good character traits,

Virtue Ethics n Virtue-based ethical theories focus on helping people develop good character traits, such as kindness and generosity. These character traits will, in turn, allow a person to make the correct decisions later on in life. Virtue theorists also emphasize the need for people to learn how to break bad habits of character, like greed or anger. These are called vices and stand in the way of becoming a good person.