Jenna Lento

Birsch Chapter 6
Virtue Ethics

*Determine good and bad
1. Goal
2. Purpose
3. Function

*Virtue Ethics - Strengths
1. Begins with interesting insight and ends with problems
2. Expands beyond ethical rules and action
3. Illustrates functional approach to ethics

*Virtue Ethics - Weaknesses
1. Absence of convincing justification to ground ethical guidelines
2. Inadequate to helping us solve ethical problems

*Aristotle uses it to develop "virtue ethics" based on the distinctive function of human beings.

*Virtue Ethics are necessary for people to:
1. accomplish the basic human function
2. live good lives

*Virtues - character traits that promote the well-being of the person who has them.

*The Human Function - the ability to reason

*Two types of virtues
1. Intellectual Virtues - knowledge and wisdom
2. Moral Virtues - actions and emotions that accompany them

*Reasoning - being able to use reason to investigate things and understand them

*The aspect of well-being is connected to:
1. scientific knowledge
2. excellence in art
3. practical wisdom
4. intuitive reason
5. philosophic wisdom

*Ethical Justification for using this standard connects to the assumption that there is a basic human function - reasoning - and the well lived life involves reasoning well.
- The justification for this standard is a virtuous person will help us accomplish the basic human function successfully.

*Four Ethical Themes:
1. Are some actions, beliefs, or values good or evil?
2. What makes something good or evil?
3. Should we follow rules of behavior, or separately evaluate each action or belief?
4. Should the group or majority of persons be the focus of ethics or should the focus be on the individual?

*Differences between virtue ethics and moral rights theory
1. Aristotle's assumption that there is a distinctive human function
2. Virtue ethics is more interested in person's character than in rights and actions
3. virtue ethics connects the ethical life to factors, moral rights theory would say these are not essential parts of ethics.

*Moral Luck is beyond the moral agents control

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