The Origins, Development and Tenets of Virtue Ethics
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I have critiqued obligation-based moral theories in general ethics and I have articulated several important flaws central to these theories. I concluded that consequentialism and deontology are incomplete and inadequate moral theories. In this chapter, I will examine virtue ethics, the moral theory that argues that the virtues are central to morality and to the aim of living a morally good life. First, I trace the origins and development of virtue ethics. I then identify four central tenets of virtue ethics and note the distinction between supplementary and strong forms of virtue ethics. Next, I examine Aristotle’s virtue ethics. I then look more closely at virtue ethics’ account of moral character and moral education. In the next chapter, I examine some common objections to virtue ethics.
KeywordsVirtue Ethic Moral Theory Moral Character Moral Education Moral Rule
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