Virtue Ethics and Neo-Kantians: Slote, Hursthouse and Herman

  • Nafsika Athanassoulis


In 1958 Elizabeth Anscombe published a paper that was to change the focus of interest in moral philosophy.1 In ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’ she argued that moral philosophy should re-divert its attention to the work of Aristotle, embrace the Aristotelian emphasis on moral psychology and abandon the Kantian preoccupation with duty and obligation. She drew a picture of modern moral philosophy from Sidgwick onwards as sharply contrasted with the Aristotelian use of ‘moral’. She saw the dominance of the ideas of ‘duty’ and ‘obligation’ as arising from what she called a ‘law conception of ethics’, where: ‘To have a law conception of ethics is to hold that what is needed for conformity with the virtues failure in which is the mark of being bad qua man (and not merely, say, qua craftsman or logician) — that what is needed for this, is required by divine law.’2


Moral Judgement Virtue Ethic Moral Philosophy Practical Wisdom Moral Luck 
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© Nafsika Athanassoulis 2005

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  • Nafsika Athanassoulis

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