Non Relative Approach To Virtue Ethics

1889 Words8 Pages

Aristotle’s virtue ethics differs from other moral theories. Unlike deontology and consequentialism, virtue ethics emphasizes and describes moral characters (virtues). In my paper, I am going to explore the objection to virtue ethics from a relativist point of view and the responses to this objection that were presented in Nussbaum’s paper “A non-relative approach to virtue ethics.” Furthermore, I am going to present two out of three relativist objections to her responses that she anticipated, and her responses to them. The relativist’s objection Aristotle’s writings are the best prototype of virtue ethics. Contemporary virtue theories do not grasp nor represents the Aristotelian theory, because they think that it is impossible to escape the charge of relativism in virtue ethics. According to the relativist approach, ethical goodness is relative to each society depending on its traditions and practices. It is thought that virtue can only be outlined locally with reference to a single locale. Relativists reject the idea that there is a general rule, based on specific virtuous actions, that leads to the good life i.e. they reject that there is a single virtue (or norm of flourishing life) that is able to flourish the life of all human beings. Writers like Alasdair MacIntyre, Bernard Williams and Philippa Foot have abandoned “the project of rationally justifying a single norm of flourishing life for and to all human beings.” They deny that ethics can have trans-cultural norms

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