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Liena Altai

Liena  Altai


Total Article : 47

About Me:Sixth form student with an interest in a wide variety of topics such as languages, history, philosophy, politics and literature

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Virtue Ethics pt 2

Virtue Ethics pt 2

However, many have accused supporters of Virtue ethics of 'misplaced nostalgia'. It is a known criticism that the Age of Enlightenment was not in fact, a negative thing as described by McIntyre. Are the bases of Virtue ethics outdated? Modern takes on Virtue ethics stand by its validity as an ethical theory. McIntyre himself, however, thought it would not be possible to restore Aristotle’s Virtue ethics completely. McIntyre therefore adds new weight to community, and suggests a renewal of the cardinal values, which were a set of values developed by Aristotle that were the most important virtues. Other scholars have suggested new values such as Prudence, Justice, Fidelity and self-care and mercy, whilst for McIntyre, virtues are “any virtues which sustain the households and communities in which men and women seek for good together”.

Virtue ethics has since been developed numerous times by modern thinkers. It is still however, subject to plentiful criticism. Many question the cultural relativity of the virtues, or the applicability of this theory to practical situations. The fact that virtue ethics gives us no concrete ethical code has caused many to reject it. This rejection stems however, from people expecting Virtue ethics to be another normative ethical theory. The strength of Virtue ethics as a subjective theory places it in a very different category to the other popular normative ethical theories. Rather than having to use a formula such as 'the greatest good for the greatest number', it focuses on character development. Rather than laying down strict rules for the agent to follow, it recognises that good differs in different situation, and that it is down to the agent to work it out. Virtue ethics is also good for society – it stresses motivation, self-improvement, education, and the fact that good actions are their own reward. Through the use of Virtue ethics, every moment becomes a window for self-improvement. Rather than ignoring our emotions or relying solely on our emotions, we use these emotions to understand what is right and what is wrong. We can allow ourselves to prioritize family and friends. Virtue ethics does not pretend to be able to tell what a good action would be in every situation. It is a realistic theory, one that is applicable to every person. Perhaps we should all move out of the reactive ethical bombshell that we live in, and begin to use virtue and character development as means of making decisions. Through putting more thought into our actions, we can improve the global situation, and redefine goodness into something realistic and achievable. 


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