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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For many of years, thousands of philosophers have set out to try to answer one question: what makes an individual moral? Whether it be through certain theories that strive to explain what that person looks like or moral obligations that determine one’s character, they are all trying to answer the same question. As we investigate the overarching topic of ethics, one could find it hard for any one theory or moral code to perfectly define what that person looks like. With that said, during Rosalind Hursthouse’s Virtue Theory and Abortion, she has failed in appropriately answering the main objections of virtue theory, thus, leaving the theory open for further interpretation. Throughout her work, Hursthouse addresses nine of the main arguments which object to the virtue theory.
Nussbaum attempts to explain her understanding of Aristotle’s argument, “What he does, in each case, is to isolate a sphere of human experience that figures in more or less any human life, and in which more or less any human being will have to make some choices rather than others, and act in some way rather than another”. Instead of giving any concrete forms to living virtuously, Nussbaum explains there is a general way that Aristotle says that we should act. This is where Nussbaum’s and Aristotle’s argument connect in their generalities and therefore, things get messy. In saying that there is a general framework, this allows for variations in relating certain actions to certain virtues.
Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Book ll, is about his idea of how people should live a virtuous life. Throughout this book, he explains that humans learn virtue from instructions and we learn virtue from practice too. Virtue is something that is very important because it is a moral habit that results in keeping our moral values. Aristotle believed that nobody is born with virtue, everyone has to work at it daily. After reading Nicomachean ethics, Book ll, my main conclusion of it is that us as humans are better off being virtuous than simply doing what we feel like doing at any moment in time.
The concept of “virtue” derived from the the people looking back at the history of liberty in England and the ways of government influenced by the Roman heritage. The american people understood virtue as the way of life that would be instrumental to launch their new republic. The american people believed that now that they were free from the tyranny of great britain . The american people would need to be a nation with a strong foundation, strong core values to guarantee them the best chance of keeping their independence. A state that is virtuous would need a fundamental change in colonial America’s culture, a change different from a corrupt British society as well as away from Brittan’s established religion Revolutionary Americans were
The last theory is Aristotle’s virtue ethics which states that we should move from the concern towards good action and to focus on the concern with good character. This paper argues that Aristotle’s virtue ethics is better than the other ethical theories. The divine command theory says that what is morally right and what is morally wrong is determined by God and God alone. People who follow the divine command theory believe that God is the creator of all things, therefore, he must also be the creator of morally right and wrong acts.
Aristotle describes virtue theory as an ethical theory that emphasizes an individual 's character rather than following a set of rules. Breaking it down even further to specify knowing right from wrong, being able to read an atmosphere by knowing what is right, and it is the midpoint between two extremes. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. display to be a virtue ethicists through his letter oppose to being a deontologist or utilitarian. Laws define a set of rules that the people should follow; however, there are unjust laws that are meant to be challenged.
It involves the deliberate development of virtues through habituation and ethical practice. Both philosophers recognized that virtue is not an innate quality but something that must be consciously nurtured and refined through intentional efforts. Their recognition of virtues as the foundation for leading a good and fulfilling life reflects a shared understanding of the importance of character cultivation. While Aristotle focused on the pursuit of eudaimonia through the cultivation of virtues and the doctrine of the mean, Aquinas integrated virtue ethics into a Christian framework, highlighting the moral and spiritual dimensions of virtuous
In his book Nicomanchean Ethics Aristotle explains and differentiates voluntary and involuntary actions and expatiate on all the factor that contribute in deciding on the nature of our actions. The purpose of this differentiation is essential for the study of virtue ethics and more importantly for the study of jurisprudence “to the assigning of both of honors and of punishments” onto individuals. Aristotle firstly describes factors that causes actions to be involuntary or voluntary, such as ignorance, compulsion and choice. The understanding of such factors and their relation to our actions are also important to understand the principles explained by Aristotle. Voluntary actions is defined by Aristotle as actions that have their principle
Many virtue ethics theories are derived from Aristotle. He defined a virtuous person is one who has ideal character traits. These traits develop from natural internal tendencies but need to be nurtured. In opposition to consequentialism, the purpose of virtue ethics is not to identify universal principles that can be applied in any moral situation. Virtue ethics has evolved in three directions: agent-based theories, Eudemonism, and the ethics of care.
(Ethics 938). It is not enough to state that one is virtuous, nor is it enough for someone to be born virtuous and end there. Rather, it is the continuous pursuit, the juxtaposition of virtuous activity and of that which isn’t, that allows an individual to flourish in an Aristotelian society. We can deduce, then, that “…human
Moreover, there is no universal truth in ethics, only various cultural codes instead. On the other point of view, it has been suggested that the world should derive an objective truth in every action. This essay will argue against the existence of objective truth in
Some people face violence and they have to flee their homes and come to new contexts with new social norms and power dynamics. Some people witness violence and discrimination every day that leave them powerless. Some people face poverty, inequality and unequal gender opportunities, affecting the way they coexist and share spaces with others. And then we have to face the ethical challenges steaming from being global citizens while at the same time trying to respond to our own our local context and realities. Ethics is about relationships; it is about fostering critical reflections to help nurture human values and build a sense of community.
Aristotle explains that the mean is extremes of excess and deficiency. Aristotle first explains this by comparing it to health and food. It was explained in medical terms that we ruin our health if we eat too little or too much. For instance, it is ruined by excess and deficiency. The mean is divided into three categories; extreme of deficiency (being a coward), mean (bravery or courage), and extreme of excess (rashness, reckless).
As Aristotle (and Buddha) believed that the “moraity of a person is a seamless whole” (Ciulla, 2003). Hence, the leadership will be guided by the person in his or her full cpacity as a moral, ethical, and virtuous being. Virtue involves having the necessary attitude toward pleasure and pain. For instance, when faced with danger, a coward will suffer excessive fear while a rash person will least likely suffer enough fear. A person who is virtuous exhibits all the virtue principles that were listed by Aristotle.
The Strength and Vulnerability of Different Moral Views Over centuries of fervent discussion in the moral world, there is still nothing like a consensus on a set of moral views. This essay attempts to outline and critically evaluate two moral views, namely ethical objectivism and cultural relativism. It is crucial to understand that both moral theories cannot be true at the same time as it results in contradictions, contributing to false beliefs. Additionally, it is essential that we discuss these issues with an open-mind so as to gain deeper insights from them. First and foremost, we will be looking at the prominent view of ethical objectivism.