Virtue Ethics: The Three Major Approaches In Normative Ethics

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Virtue ethics is currently one of three major approaches in normative ethics. It may, initially, be identified as the one that emphasizes the virtues, or moral character, in contrast to the approach that emphasizes duties or rules (deontology) or that emphasizes the consequences of actions (consequentialism). What distinguishes virtue ethics from the other theories is the centrality of virtue within the theory. Whereas consequentialists will define virtues as traits that yield good consequences and deontologists will define them as traits possessed by those who reliably fulfill their duties, virtue ethicists will resist the attempt to define virtues in terms of some other concept that is taken to be more fundamental. Rather, virtues and vices…show more content…
A complete theory of virtue ethics must do three things: • First, it must define the concept of virtue. • Second, it must offer some list of the virtues. • Finally, the theory must offer some justification of that list and explain how we decide what are virtues and vices. Aristotle argues in Book II of the Nicomachean Ethics, the man who possesses character excellence does the right thing, at the right time, and in the right way. The main goal according to Aristotle is to become a good person irrespective of the consequences. One should strengthen his character at their level. Virtue Aristotle described virtue as a character trait that manifests itself in habitual action. It is something that we admire in a person; a virtue is trying an excellence of some kind that is worth having for its own sake. A virtue is also something that we actually practice. Aristotle asks us to adopt a mid-point for every situation. The four cardinal virtues are; •…show more content…
According to this he classified justice as:  Universal Justice Universal Justice is the whole of virtue. Aristotle’s universal ethics seems to be an ethical, rather than a legal, conception and what legal reference there may be is brought about in only in subordination to, and in illustration of, the ethical idea.  Particular Justice Particular justice is related with virtue in specific situations. It consists of taking only the proper share of some good or bearing a fair share of some burden. Aristotle further divided particular justice as follows:  Distributive Justice It deals with the just distribution of benefits and burdens among members of a community. Aristotle was of the opinion that this form of justice is the most powerful law to prevent any revolution, as this justice believes in proper and proportionate allocation of offices, honors, goods and services as per their requirement being a citizen of the state. Distributive justice accords goods and honor proportionately, giving to those who deserve the most. In some instances, a just distribution is one in which each person shares equally, but in others, unequal sharing is just if the inequality is in accord with some principle of distribution. The distributive justice is comparative, in that it considers not the absolute amount of benefits and burdens of each person but each person’s amount relative to that of

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