Virtue Ethics

  • Chris RussellEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-31816-5_3609-1

Synonyms

Definition

Aristotle defined virtue as “a purposive disposition, lying in a mean that is relative to us, and determined by a rational principle, and by that which a prudent man would use to determine it. It is a mean between two kinds of vice, one of excess and the other of deficiency” (as cited in Van Hooft 2006, p. 60).

Introduction

This entry focuses on virtue ethics as a branch of moral philosophy. It provides an overview of virtue theory, definition of key terms, and an account of its relevance to contemporary public administration. Many different theories have resulted from virtue theory, but this entry does not attempt to account for them. Not all virtue theory emanates directly from Aristotle – for example, ancient Persian philosophy emphasized virtue ethics in both public and private life (Frye 1975). While this entry’s account of virtue comprises largely of Aristotelian concepts, it does, occasionally, refer to ancient...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Alzola M (2007) Character and environment: the status of virtues in organizations. J Bus Ethics 78:343–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Athanassoulis N (2012) Virtue ethics. Bloomsbury Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Cooper TL (1992) Prologue: on virtue. In: Cooper TL, Wright ND (eds) Exemplary public administrators: character and leadership in government. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  4. Cooper TL (2004) Big questions in administrative ethics: a need for focused, collaborative effort. Public Adm Rev 64(4):395–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Frye R (1975) The golden age of Persia: the Arabs in the east. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Harman G (2003) No character or personality. Bus Ethics Q 13:87–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hart DK (1992) The moral exemplar in an organizational society. In: Cooper TL, Wright ND (eds) Exemplary public administrators: character and leadership in government. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, pp 9–29Google Scholar
  8. Oakley J, Cocking D (2001) Virtue ethics and professional roles. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Van Hooft S (2006) Understanding virtue ethics. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Salt Lake CityUSA