A2 Philosophy (Virtue Ethics)

Alanis  Harridine
Flashcards by Alanis Harridine , updated more than 1 year ago
Alanis  Harridine
Created by Alanis Harridine over 5 years ago
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A2 level Philosophy and ethics (A2) Flashcards on A2 Philosophy (Virtue Ethics), created by Alanis Harridine on 05/07/2015.

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Question Answer
What is Virtue Ethics? The definition of virtue ethics is to 'Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, as long as you can' - Wesley
What did Aristotle argue? Aristotle's emphasis was on people realising their own potential and developing characteristics which made them virtuous human beings. It mattered not what people do but that kind of people they are.
Name and explain one of the key features of Aristotle's argument? (There are 7) 1. The nature of humanity - (what people need) according to Aristotle, humans have the capacity for rational thought reasoning in a logical way. He claimed the purpose of man is rational thought and the highest good were the intellectual virtues.
Name and explain the second key feature of Aristotle's argument? (There are 7) 2. Intellectual virtues - what he meant by this were virtues developed by training and education these would help people to reason well.
Name and explain the third key feature of Aristotle's argument? (There are 7) 3. Moral virtues - are ones developed by habit and those include qualities of character such as courage, friendliness, truthfulness etc. Although these are practical virtues Aristotle said they are still under the control of your intellect.
Name and explain the fourth key feature of Aristotle's argument? (There are 7) 4. Eudemonia - is based on the virtues, these are the qualities that lead to a good life. Being virtuous is of intrinsic value for its own sake not just for the individual but also for society of which they are a member. You're got to the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
Name and explain the fifth key feature of Aristotle's argument? (There are 7) 5. Golden Mean - its the perfect balance between the 2 extremes. It is discouraged by the intellect and leads to practical wisdom and moral virtues e.g. courage is the right balance between cowardis and fool hardiness. we are not born with virtues we cultivate them through practice.
Name and explain the sixth key feature of Aristotle's argument? (There are 7) 6. Rolemodel's - a good person should from virtuous Rolemodel's train and exercise their virtue until it becomes part of their character role models lead us to acquire virtues through doing by the following the examples of Virtuous people e.g. Martin Luther King
Name and explain the Seventh key feature of Aristotle's argument? (There are 7) 7. A genuine virtuous person - is virtuous all the time. They develop regular habits of goodness and continually practice their virtues. A person should not only desire to be good, but know when and how to do it this is called 'Prudence'.
In the virtue ethics revival in the 20th century, what did the philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe argue? She argued that ethical codes which puts a stress on moral absolutes and laws are out of date in society which has abandoned God. She urged a return in morality focused on persons character e.g. the return to virtue ethics.
What did the modern philosopher Richard Taylor argue? He rejected absolute Christian ethics because he felt it discouraged people from achieving their potential.
What did Macintyre argue? He wrote a book called "After Virtue" where he argued the naturalistic theories of ethics (NML) are of little value as they are time consuming and overly complex. He felt a virtue ethics approach was more realistic and applied to everyday situations.
What are the 3 key strengths of Virtue Ethics? 1. It fits in with both religious and secular morality. 2. Its a simple system based on well-being for the individual/community. 3. It links theory & practice in ethics & encourages moral behaviour as part of developing a good life.
What are the 4 key weaknesses of Virtue ethics? 1. Rosalind Hursthouse argued it is difficult to decide what to do when faced with what to do. Not really giving you any guidelines. 2. The GM cannot be generalised 3. no guidance for conflict 4. Some cultures have different values
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