Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Virtue Ethics

  • Bongrae Seok
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_29

Virtue ethics is a theory of the human moral conduct and personal character that focuses on the carefully developed, stable, long-term inner dispositions of a moral agent as the foundation of the agent’s moral excellence and good life. In virtue ethics, an action is evaluated from the perspective of the virtues (the character traits) of a person, not from the perspective of its moral qualities (such as intention, consequence, and duty-fulfilling features of an action). There are three general characteristics of virtue ethics.

First, in virtue ethics, the moral value of an action derives from the fully developed inner state (such as wisdom, courage, temperance, or justice) of an agent. The goals or consequences of an action, or the duties it fulfills are only secondary moral values. For this reason, the discussion of the development and the function of virtues in morally fulfilling life is at the center of virtue ethics. Specifically, the formative process of becoming a well-rounded...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bongrae Seok
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Humanities/PhilosophyAlvernia UniversityReadingPAUSA