Virtue Ethics Essays (Examples)

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Virtue Ethics
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Virtue Ethics: The Good and the Bad About Virtue Ethics
The philosophy of virtue ethics holds that being a 'good person' or what one might call 'character' is the most important determinant of moral action. Virtue ethics is considered to be one of the major philosophical orientations in the field of normative ethics, along with consequentialism and deontology (Hursthouse 2010). Many consider it to be the oldest form of ethics, harkening back to Plato and Aristotle's attempts to define what constituted a good and moral person. Virtue ethics fell out of favor for many years, but there has been a revitalization of interest in the concept, in the wake of controversies over the flaws of consequentialism and deontology. To understand the strengths (and also some of the weaknesses) of virtue ethics, it is essential to understand the ethical systems to which the modern incarnation of virtue ethics was responding. The system….

Virtue Ethics
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Virtue Ethics
Virtue-based vs. duty-based ethics: arguments and examples from Victor Hugo, Aristotle, Bernard Mayo, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and William Frankena

In the study of ethics and morality, there have been theoretical foundations in which it was argued that morality comes with being rather than doing, or that a true moral life is one that is a product of doing instead of being. Or, oftentimes, theoreticians and philosophers contend that morality must bear an existence of both concepts -- that is, that morality entails both doing and being.

In the study of the works of the philosophers and writers Victor Hugo, Aristotle, Bernard Mayo, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and William Frankena, it becomes evident that they have various opinions about the issue at hand: is morality simply a matter of doing good works, or one must have the right principles in order to become moral? Through their writings, each had contented their stance or position concerning….

This will allow someone to move beyond the different emotions, so that they can be able to see how the different actions will affect the world around them. Despite some of the obvious weaknesses, you can be able to determine the most appropriate course of action, by asking questions and gaining more information. Once this achieved, you will have a greater sense of enlightenment, because you were able to see other views that could affect a situation. This is significant because it underscores how you can apply virtue ethics, to determine the most appropriate course of action. At which point, a person will have a sense of superiority by understanding the overall big picture. In this aspect, Aristotle is saying that to effectively apply virtue ethics requires that you must have a thirst for continuous knowledge and always use flexibility. When you put these two factors together, you will….


The question here arises, why did we have to return to ancient philosophy of virtue ethics? But interestingly while a great deal of credit is given to Aristotle and Plato, the modern moral philosophers such as Anscombe, Foot, Murdoch, Slote had mentioned in very precise terms the problems they found in Aristotelian ethics. They must have absorbed the writings of ancient philosophers since a lot is said about the moral philosophies of these great thinkers in books of modern philosophers, still the father of modern moral philosopher was not blind to the problems of following ancient terms and values. In his famous paper on the subject, Anscombe wrote:

Anyone who has read Aristotle Ethics and has also read modern moral philosophy must have been struck by the great contrasts between them. The concepts which are prominent among the moderns seem to be lacking, or at any rate buried or far in….

Deontological ethics are based on other theories that focus on duty and obligation. Immanuel Kant (1785) argued that an individual should "always act in such a way that you can also will that the maxim of your action become universal law" (p. v). It can be argued that Kant's arguments are echoed in a quote often attributed to Ghandi, "Be the change you want to see in the world" (Lewis, 2011). In other words, deontological ethics contend that individuals should lead by example and establish moral precedent through their virtuous actions.
Each of these theories is seen every day through in our actions and decisions. One of the virtue theories that I strive to embody is Eudemonism, which encourages me to be the best that I can be, and put forth the effort necessary to be successful in my endeavors. I believe that by being the best person I can….

Virtue Ethics
PAGES 7 WORDS 2341

virtues the proper starting point for ethical theory?
The debate about virtue ethics

Main issues

Critical analysis of virtue ethics criticism

Virtues should be the starting point for ethical theory

This paper revolves around the question that whether or not virtues are an appropriate starting point for ethical theory. I have presented the main criticism on virtue ethics theory followed by the defense of this theory by renowned virtue ethicists. There are three main schools of thought that have presented theories regarding ethics. In traditional normative ethical theories, deontologist, etiologist, and virtue ethics are the three perspectives. Virtue ethics has been gaining popularity as an alternative theory to deontologist and etiologist perspective of ethics. Main concerns in the virtue ethics approach are with the character, personality, environment and reasoning of the individual who acts. The main criticism of virtue ethics theory is that it does not provide action guidance. The criticism has been effectively….

Debate on Human Space Exploration on MarsIn the 21st century, life on earth became increasingly inhospitable: nuclear war between great powers had decimated the globe. Technology had advanced to the point where space exploration on Mars had become possible. The only question now was whether mankind should make that leap and take its adventures to a new planet. Mankind might be ready for space exploration on Mars, but was the universe ready for mankind?The question of whether or not to colonize Mars had been a topic of debate for many years. Some scientists believed that it was our moral responsibility to explore and colonize other planets, while others believed that it was both too risky and too expensive. Still, some others, arguing from an ethical point of view, said that mankind was replete with all sorts of moral problems and that to permit him to colonize a new planet would….

Nurses and the Ethics of Abortion
Abortion and Virtue Ethics

In the Crossfire: Nurses and the Ethics of Abortion

In the Crossfire: Nurses and the Ethics of Abortion

Nebraska's Attorney General, Jon Bruning, announced his efforts to revoke the license of the only nurse working at Dr. Leoy Carhart's abortion clinic in a suburb of Omaha (Funk, 2013). The revocation proceedings are based on allegations of substandard care and the delegation of patient care to unlicensed staff. Should the Attorney General be successful, Carhart would be faced with the task of hiring another nurse at a clinic that has been the focus frequent and aggressive anti-abortion activities. The news article by Funk (2013) highlights Dr. Carhart's past successes in challenging restrictive abortion laws before the U.S. Supreme Court, thereby implying the most recent allegations may be contaminated by motivations other than a concern for patient health and safety.

Such events are no longer rare in….

Ethics and morality feature strongly in Twain's Huckleberry Finn. Set against a backdrop of antebellum social stratification, the novel shows how individuals like the title character make their moral choices. Moreover, Huckleberry Finn is a coming-of-age story showing how the title character discovers his own moral voice. His deepening friendship with Jim, and the conflicts that friendship cause him due to race relations in the antebellum south, help Huckleberry Finn distinguish between the artificial morality ensconced in unjust laws and the genuine moral truths of friendship and universal human rights. Huckleberry Finn's decision-making process reflects both virtue ethics and Kantian deontological ethics.
The Fugitive Slave Law is morally unjust from the perspective of Kantian deontological ethics. Requiring that all witnesses of runaway slaves report the transgression to the authorities, the Fugitive Slave Law upholds a morally turbid social and economic system. Yet as a white boy, Huckleberry Finn has never been….

Religion, Libertarianism and Virtue Ethics
Religion is a social institution, which grows out of individuals' collective attempt to structure and understand the university (McGonigal, 2012). It is a natural consequence of human behavior and social groups. It endeavors to explain occurrences and social inequalities. In so doing, religion tends to justify inequalities, thus, provides a foundation for religious identification, which often breeds social conflict (McGonigal).

Libertarianism is a political philosophy, which claims that every person is the absolute owner of his own life (New World Encyclopedia, 2008). It believes that a person can do anything with himself or property for as long as he respects the rights of others to their own lives and properties. As an ethical theory, libertarianism asserts that the best political, social, and economic system is one, which governs the least. It confers the greatest personal or individual liberty while minimizing government action, regulation and sanction. It opposes….

Ethical Perspectives
Virtue Ethics

Generally, virtue ethics emphasizes the motivation, or reason, for any particular act to determine whether or not it is ethical (Hursthouse, 1999). For example, if a person you know with certainty is totally innocent of a crime for which police are seeking to take him into custody, virtue ethics would permit you to lie to the authorities about his whereabouts and to permit that person to decide what he wants to do (including flee the state if that is his choice). As long as your true motivation was morally defensible (such as to protect an innocent person from wrongful arrest or prosecution) as opposed to motivated by a non-virtuous reason (such as for pay), virtue ethics would support your decision (Hursthouse, 1999).

Utilitarian Ethics

Generally, utilitarian ethics emphasizes the effect of a course of action on the entire community (Beauchamp & Childress, 2009). In the same case involving the person….

The broadest area of my life that requires certain virtues in order to do well is friendship. To be a good friend demands virtue; the bond of friendship can be easily broken when a person exhibits poor moral character. One reason why friendship depends on virtue is that friendship also requires trust. A friend is called someone who we can lean on, or whose shoulder we can cry on. In order to lean on someone, we need to be vulnerable with that person and vulnerability requires trust. The “telos” of friendship is rooted in the basic human need for intimacy, connection with others, and a healthy social life. Having close friends also leads to what Aristotle called eudaimonia, which means “happiness” or “flourishing,” (Hursthouse, 2016, p. 1). A person does not need to be extraverted, or around people all the time to experience eudaimonia but does at some point need….

Like Aristotle's virtue-based ethics, utilitarians believe that happiness is the ultimate goal of human life and therefore of any ethical system that can be devised. Also like Aristotle, they perceived that to be virtuous required society; being virtuous when completely alone is impossible, as there is no one to be un-virtuous towards. This also means that individual happiness cannot be the only consideration in utilitarian ethics, but that the happiness or pleasure of the society must be measured to determine an act's ethical quality. Those acts which increased pleasure, or utility, were good; those which diminished utility, bad.
In this way, the utilitarian view of achieving happiness departed widely from Aristotle's. For him, happiness was a matter of personal fulfillment through the cultivation of virtues -- internal personal characteristics, not the act itself or its consequences, were the determiners of ethical behavior. In this way, Aristotle's system of virtue ethics….

60). We condemn someone as immoral who refuses to help a motorist by the side of the road, but not someone who refuses to help a child with his or her extraneous cash -- personal 'gut' instinct in virtue ethics is prioritized morally over the end results, which Singer sees as faulty reasoning.
A third objection to virtue ethics is that it is culturally 'bound' to Western concepts of the self. In many societies, moral character is not based upon individual philosophy, but a sense of collective obligation. "Virtue ethics changes the kind of question we ask about ethics. Where deontology and consequentialism concern themselves with the right action, virtue ethics is concerned with the good life and what kinds of persons we should be" (Athanassoulis, 2010). However, philosophers who argue against a principle of moral relativism would state that this is not necessarily a 'bad thing' (Midgley 1981). Merely because….

Preference for Virtue Ethics Theory
The virtue Ethics Theory is one of the most pragmatic moral theories as it addresses virtues that mould human character in its attempt to describe the good. The theory suggests that a good life and general well-being results from embracing virtues. It goes further to describe good, holistic life; proposing that it is a life that is lived in harmony with others around. In his view of humans, Aristotle considered people as both social and rational beings. It is evident that humans tend to coexist in groups. Therefore, the theory considers the group as being more important than an individual. The primary virtues encompassed are temperance, justice, courage and practical wisdom. All the virtues work in consonance. Thus, it would not be of much help to have one and not the others. Courage and temperance have a moral inclination. They help us build bravery. Self-control on….

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4 Pages
Essay

Business - Ethics

Virtue Ethics

Words: 1316
Length: 4 Pages
Type: Essay

Virtue Ethics: The Good and the Bad About Virtue Ethics The philosophy of virtue ethics holds that being a 'good person' or what one might call 'character' is the most…

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5 Pages
Term Paper

Business - Ethics

Virtue Ethics

Words: 1385
Length: 5 Pages
Type: Term Paper

Virtue Ethics Virtue-based vs. duty-based ethics: arguments and examples from Victor Hugo, Aristotle, Bernard Mayo, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and William Frankena In the study of ethics and morality, there have been theoretical…

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5 Pages
Essay

Business - Ethics

Virtue Ethics Over the Centuries

Words: 1833
Length: 5 Pages
Type: Essay

This will allow someone to move beyond the different emotions, so that they can be able to see how the different actions will affect the world around them.…

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3 Pages
Term Paper

Business - Ethics

Virtue Ethics' Refers to the

Words: 926
Length: 3 Pages
Type: Term Paper

The question here arises, why did we have to return to ancient philosophy of virtue ethics? But interestingly while a great deal of credit is given to Aristotle and…

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2 Pages
Essay

Business - Ethics

Virtue Ethics Virtue Theory Utilitarianism

Words: 716
Length: 2 Pages
Type: Essay

Deontological ethics are based on other theories that focus on duty and obligation. Immanuel Kant (1785) argued that an individual should "always act in such a way that…

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7 Pages
Research Paper

Business - Ethics

Virtue Ethics

Words: 2341
Length: 7 Pages
Type: Research Paper

virtues the proper starting point for ethical theory? The debate about virtue ethics Main issues Critical analysis of virtue ethics criticism Virtues should be the starting point for ethical theory This paper revolves…

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2 Pages
Essay

Ethics / Morality

Virtue Ethics vs Ethical Egoism

Words: 745
Length: 2 Pages
Type: Essay

Debate on Human Space Exploration on MarsIn the 21st century, life on earth became increasingly inhospitable: nuclear war between great powers had decimated the globe. Technology had advanced to…

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15 Pages
Thesis

Women's Issues - Abortion

Virtue Ethics and Nursing Care for Abortion Services

Words: 5236
Length: 15 Pages
Type: Thesis

Nurses and the Ethics of Abortion Abortion and Virtue Ethics In the Crossfire: Nurses and the Ethics of Abortion In the Crossfire: Nurses and the Ethics of Abortion Nebraska's Attorney General, Jon Bruning,…

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5 Pages
Essay

Ethics and Morality

huckleberry finn and moral virtue ethics

Words: 1637
Length: 5 Pages
Type: Essay

Ethics and morality feature strongly in Twain's Huckleberry Finn. Set against a backdrop of antebellum social stratification, the novel shows how individuals like the title character make their moral…

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4 Pages
Essay

Business - Ethics

Religion Libertarianism and Virtue Ethics Religion Is

Words: 1113
Length: 4 Pages
Type: Essay

Religion, Libertarianism and Virtue Ethics Religion is a social institution, which grows out of individuals' collective attempt to structure and understand the university (McGonigal, 2012). It is a natural consequence…

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2 Pages
Essay

Business - Ethics

Ethical Perspectives Virtue Ethics Generally Virtue Ethics

Words: 656
Length: 2 Pages
Type: Essay

Ethical Perspectives Virtue Ethics Generally, virtue ethics emphasizes the motivation, or reason, for any particular act to determine whether or not it is ethical (Hursthouse, 1999). For example, if a person…

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2 Pages
Essay

Ethics / Morality

How to Apply Virtue Ethics to Daily Life

Words: 722
Length: 2 Pages
Type: Essay

The broadest area of my life that requires certain virtues in order to do well is friendship. To be a good friend demands virtue; the bond of friendship can…

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3 Pages
Essay

Business - Ethics

Aristotle's Virtue Ethics the Question

Words: 1008
Length: 3 Pages
Type: Essay

Like Aristotle's virtue-based ethics, utilitarians believe that happiness is the ultimate goal of human life and therefore of any ethical system that can be devised. Also like Aristotle,…

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2 Pages
Essay

Business - Ethics

Objections to Virtue Ethics My

Words: 667
Length: 2 Pages
Type: Essay

60). We condemn someone as immoral who refuses to help a motorist by the side of the road, but not someone who refuses to help a child with his…

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8 Pages
Essay

Law - Constitutional Law

Analyzing Preference for Virtue Ethics Theory

Words: 2545
Length: 8 Pages
Type: Essay

Preference for Virtue Ethics Theory The virtue Ethics Theory is one of the most pragmatic moral theories as it addresses virtues that mould human character in its attempt to describe…

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