Virtue ethical theory essay

Like many Greeks, Aristotle did not believe in the existence of inherently bad behaviors. A behavior cannot be either good or evil, but a person can have good or bad character traits.

Virtue ethical theory essay

Virtue ethical theory essay

Moral philosophers are no longer merely interested in assessing our conduct e. This empirical challenge to virtue is the focus of this essay. In this experiment, the difference between finding or not finding a dime in a phone booth made a substantial difference in whether individuals chose to help a woman pick up some papers she had just dropped: In other words, a very minor difference in the situation the presence or absence of a dime played a significant role in determining behavior.

On this view, people behave in the ways that they do largely because of the kinds of people they are: Situationism challenges this account by revealing the surprising extent to which our behavior is a function of external, situational factors. Being in a hurry significantly decreases the likelihood that passersby will stop to help an apparently distressed individual Darley and Batson Ambient noises Matthews and Cannonambient smells Baronand the presence or absence of other people Latane and Darley also modulate helping behavior to a considerable extent.

More troublingly, Stanley Milgram found that the polite but firm insistence of an experimenter could induce many participants to administer potentially lethal shocks to an experimental confederate in another room.


It seems, in short, that whether or not people engage in morally praiseworthy or morally deplorable behavior is to a large extent determined by often very insubstantial features of the situations they find themselves in.

A number of philosophers Doris; Harman have concluded that this evidence spells trouble for traditional accounts of moral character. The thought is that in a variety of different situations — i. Yet the experimental evidence seems inconsistent with the average person possessing such global traits, given the situational variability it reveals.

In sum, Doris, Harman, and others argue that the experimental evidence is inconsistent with most people possessing the kinds of robust traits implicated in traditional theories of moral character.

Of course, this evidence is still consistent with a few people possessing global i. Or, conversely, with a few people possessing global vices.

But it does seem to reveal that those global traits are very rare. For most of us, our psychologies are just not adequately described as constellations of such cross-situationally consistent character traits.

Responses Of course, such pessimistic conclusions have been strongly contested, and the debate over the implications of situationist findings for virtue is ongoing.

One prominent response notes that virtue — full virtue — is, and was always expected to be, rare. Thus, situationist findings merely confirm what we already knew.

Yet such a response makes many uneasy, for it reinforces worries that virtue ethics is problematically elitist, advocating as a normative ideal something attainable by only a few cf.

Situationism and Virtue Ethics – Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology

Others note that virtue is not merely a matter of behavior — it also concerns what one thinks and feels. Thus, situationist findings are in an important sense incomplete. Details of all these proposals are unfortunately beyond the scope of this essay. Notes 1For a very thorough overview, see Miller This paper will compare the similarities and difference between virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics; ethics and morality of each theory and conclude with my personal experience explaining the relationship between virtue, values, and moral concepts as it relates to one of the three theories.

Aristotle on Virtue essaysAristotle defines virtue as acquiring excellence through the fulfillment of a particular function. Stating that all people are born with the potential to be virtuous yet they must act accordingly through their function. Any function good and well must possess a telos or e.

Virtue Ethics Essay Examples.

Virtue ethical theory essay

12 total results. An Essay on the Principle of Virtue Ethics. 1, words. 3 pages. A Look at the Four Major Ethical Theories and Their Differences in Orientations.

words. 1 page. The Adaption of the Philosophy of Ethics. words. 2 pages. This is a collection of 13 papers (along with an introductory essay by the editor) mostly on issues surrounding the objectivity and grounding of ethical norms and virtues in ancient Greek philosophy along with a few papers more concerned with the structure and content of particular Greek ethical theories.

Moreover, Virtue ethics developed by Aristotle more than years ago, gives modern perspective to the questions of morale and ethics, connecting individuals to broader communities and explaining their motivation and actions. virtue ethics.3 Many of those who hold such views argue that virtue ethics can lay serious claim to rival Kantianism and utilitarianism as comprehensive normative ethical theories. Virtue Ethics has been used by many people as a useful moral guideline, partially because it is an applicable theory to every society. However, over the years it has received many criticisms that have discredited its effectiveness as a helpful guideline for moral living.

In this article I argue that virtue ethics as an approach, which focus of the character of a person, might provide a more holistic analysis of moral dilemmas in nursing and might facilitate more flexible and creative solutions when combined with other theories of moral decision-making.

Explain virtue ethics and care ethics and discuss how these approaches offer an alternative to the deontological and utilitarian focus on how we should act. what is the good life? This assignment will be completed in four parts, so you may want to use section headers to organize your paper.

The theory of Virtue Ethics Essay Example | Graduateway