Virtue Ethics Notes

Advantage Ethics Aristotle was a Greek thinker who lived between 384 and 322 BCE. He was deeply within the thought of trigger and goal. On the Basis Paper, you should have explored the concepts of the 4 Causes and the Prime Mover. Each of those theories have a look at the thought of how issues are brought about and the way they transfer in direction of their goal. In ethics, any principle that appears at how we grow to be higher folks over time, or that appears at how we transfer in direction of our goal known as a teleological principle, from the Greek phrase telos which means objective or goal.
Advantage ethics is teleological as a result of it argues that we must always apply being good, or virtuous folks over time. Advantage ethics is subsequently not deontological (like Kant’s ethics) and it’s also not normative. It is called aretaic ethics from the Greek phrase arete which means excellence or advantage. Advantage ethics just isn’t involved with what we must do, however with what sort of individual we must always attempt to grow to be. Aristotle argued that each motion we carry out is directed in direction of some goal, that it tries to attain one thing. He then argued that there are superior and subordinate goals.
Subordinate goals are what we have now to attain first, earlier than we obtain superior goals, for instance, in case you are hungry (which could be a superior goal) it is advisable to make a sandwich to attain that goal. Making the sandwich turns into a subordinate goal. The goal of life Aristotle argued that the superior goal of human life is to attain one thing known as eudaemonia. Eudaemonia is a Greek phrase that roughly interprets to imply ‘happiness’ or ‘flourishing’. Aristotle argued that that is the goal that ought to govern our lives: the pursuit of happiness or pleasure.

Eudaemonia is achieved after we grow to be virtuous and Aristotle argued that it is a course of that we develop in direction of by practising virtues. It’s very similar to studying to play a musical instrument: the extra you practise, the higher you get. A few of you should have come throughout the phrase daemon earlier than within the ‘His Darkish Supplies’ trilogy by Philip Pullman. All of the characters within the books have daemons and Pullman says of them: ‘the daemon is that a part of you that helps you develop in direction of knowledge. ’ Lyra, the central character within the trilogy has a daemon known as Pantalaimon who’s instrumental in serving to her cope with conditions properly because the story progresses. [Pleasure] can be considered most vital for the forming of a virtuous character to love and dislike the best issues as a result of pleasure and ache permeate the entire of life and have a robust affect upon advantage and the joyful life, since folks select what’s nice and keep away from what’s painful. ’[1] Aristotle did realise nevertheless, that one individual’s view of happiness could be very completely different from one other individual’s view of happiness. He distinguished between three kinds of pleasure/happiness: 1. Pleasure seekers: these are people who find themselves pushed by their fundamental wishes and easily stay from one pleasurable expertise to the following: e. . consuming good meals, sleeping, consuming and having intercourse. 2. Seekers of honour: Aristotle noticed politicians as seekers of honour. These are individuals who attempt to discover options to vital issues and get a way of honour from doing that. three. Those that love contemplation: these are philosophers and thinkers. Aristotle believed that the bottom types of happiness are these discovered by the pleasure seekers. He wrote: ‘The utter servility of the plenty comes out of their choice for a bovine [animalistic] existence. ’[2] For Aristotle, the distinguishing characteristic of people is their capacity to cause, which they get from their soul.
In vegetation, the anima or soul produces the seek for nourishment and meals, and in animals, the anima produces the power to maneuver. People have these two traits, but additionally the power to cause. Aristotle known as people ‘rational animals’. It is for that reason that he believed we must always try to attain one thing higher with our lives than merely dwelling from pleasure to pleasure. Happiness for Aristotle is an exercise of the soul, i. e. the proper and full use of the soul may also help us to find happiness. Aristotle divided the soul up into two components, the rational half and the irrational half.
Each components of the soul are then divided in two. The rational half incorporates the calculative and scientific components. The scientific a part of the soul holds kinds of information which might be factual and never up for debate: in different phrases, a priori information. The calculative half does what it says; it calculates. It weighs up information and helps us to reach at selections. The irrational a part of the soul incorporates the desiderative half and the vegetative half. The vegetative a part of the soul is anxious with fundamental wants that maintain us alive and is successfully our survival intuition.
The desiderative half helps us to tell apart between wants and desires. For Aristotle, a accurately functioning soul makes use of all the components effectively and correctly. Vardy and Grosch use the instance of a fruitcake to show this. If the vegetative half recognises that I’m hungry, it tells me to eat. The desiderative half could want cake to alleviate the starvation: one thing I would like, however don’t essentially want. The scientific a part of my soul is aware of that fruit is healthier for me than cake and the calculative half, weighing up the proof, comes up with the suggestion of fruitcake. Thus all of the components of my soul have been used within the resolution.
This is essential, as solely a soul that capabilities accurately can discover happiness, or eudaemonia. The Virtues Now that we have now seen the essential concepts that Aristotle had about people and the way they operate, we are able to have a look at the virtues. Aristotle believed that the proper solution to stay, was to observe one thing known as the doctrine of the imply, the center method or temperance. Aristotle realised that human behaviour is made up of extremes which he known as vices of extra and vices of deficiency. Aristotle argued that the very best plan of action falls between the 2 and that that is the advantage.
For instance, if braveness is the advantage, then cowardice is the vice of deficiency and foolhardiness is the vice of extra. Aristotle believed that there are two kinds of advantage: mental virtues and ethical virtues. The mental virtues are realized by instruction i. e. they’re taught. The ethical virtues are developed by behavior. The mental virtues are developed within the rational a part of the soul and the ethical virtues are developed within the irrational a part of the soul. There are 9 mental virtues, as follows: • Artwork or technical talent (techne) • Scientific information (episteme) Prudence or sensible knowledge (phronesis) • Intelligence or instinct (nous) • Knowledge (sophia) • Resourcefulness or good deliberation (eubolia) • Understanding (sunesis) • Judgement (gnome) • Cleverness (deinotes) The 12 ethical virtues, with their corresponding vices are set out within the desk beneath. |Vice of deficiency |Advantage |Vice of extra | |Cowardice |Braveness |Rashness | |Insensibility Temperance |Intemperance | |Illiberality |Liberality |Prodigality | |Pettiness |Munificence |Vulgarity | |Humble-mindedness |Excessive-mindedness |Vaingloriousness | |Need of ambition |Proper ambition |Over-ambition | |Spiritlessness |Good mood |Irascibility | |Surliness |Friendliness/civility |Obsequiousness | |Sarcasm |Sincerity |Boastfulness | |Boorishness |Wittiness |Buffoonery | |Shamelessness |Modesty |Bashfulness | |Callousness |Simply resentment |Spitefulness | Aristotle recognised that not all folks will attain to the virtues, however he did argue that a stability between the mental and ethical virtues was important. Practising the ethical virtues alone, would possibly lead to conformity and being an automaton. Aristotle urged us to consider the life we lead too. He believed that the virtues had been important to a harmonious society.
Aristotle believed that the general effectively being of the group is rather more vital than the effectively being of people alone and argued that it’s by encouraging the practise of the virtues that society might be a harmonious place. It’s friendship that’s the fundamental goal of the ethical life, for with out friendship, justice is meaningless. Aristotle was not a deep believer within the after-life. Aristotle was a person who valued empirical (sense) proof above all else and believed that if something lived on, it will be our reminiscences. Due to this, the purpose of being virtuous is to not obtain unity with God, or win a spot in heaven, it’s good as a result of it’s the proper solution to stay.
Trendy advantage ethics In 1958, Elizabeth Anscombe wrote an essay entitled ‘Trendy Ethical Philosophy’. On this essay, she argued that deontological ethics had grow to be outdated. The existence of God had a substantial shadow solid over it and he or she argued that the non secular foundation to ethics and morality (i. e. that God provides guidelines to people to observe they usually should observe them in the event that they want to get to heaven) might now not be trusted. She additionally felt that ethics had moved away from a concentrate on an individual’s character and had as a substitute grow to be obsessive about a number of guidelines and legal guidelines. Anscombe argued that it was time for a return of advantage ethics. Alasdair MacIntyre
In 1981, Alasdair MacIntyre (left) wrote a e book known as ‘After Advantage’ during which he argued that we must always give severe consideration to Aristotle’s principle. In his e book, he traced the historical past of advantage ethics and tried to ascertain a system of advantage ethics for the trendy age. His fundamental criticism was that fashionable ethics put an excessive amount of emphasis on cause and never sufficient stress on folks, their characters and the contexts of their lives. MacIntyre seen that as societies developed 2,500 years in the past, so completely different virtues developed too. Within the age of Homer (who wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey), the next virtues had been paramount; • Bodily energy • Braveness • Crafty • Friendship These are referred to as the Homeric Virtues. As cities (the polis) developed, life slowly grew to become extra civilized.
Aristotle developed his principle of virtues for town of Athens and his virtues grew to become referred to as the Athenian Virtues. They had been (briefly) as follows: • Braveness • Friendship • Justice: retributive (getting what you deserve) and distributive (ensuring that the products of society are pretty distributed) • Temperance • Knowledge The emphasis on energy and crafty, wanted in time of battle, was gone. MacIntyre argued that the Athenian virtues of Aristotle had been essentially the most full. For MacIntyre, the issues with ethics started through the Enlightenment, a time frame through the 17th and 18th Centuries when Science grew to become extra vital for locating reality.
It was thought that a single, rational trigger for morality could possibly be found and thinkers corresponding to Hume and Kant tried to do that. MacIntyre realised that while the theorists in universities had been making an attempt to work morality out, society nonetheless wanted virtuous folks in on a regular basis life; individuals who run jumble gross sales to boost cash for the native hospital for instance. MacIntyre argued that regardless of the theories of individuals like Kant and Hume, the virtues have lived on. What’s extra, society relies upon for its very existence upon individuals who exhibit the virtues. MacIntyre argued that dwelling a virtuous life depended upon stepping into the behavior of being ethical and of striving in direction of being virtuous. He argued that this may give life an total goal and which means.
The virtues for MacIntyre, are any human high quality which helps us to attain the ‘items’ in life. MacIntyre’s virtues are as follows: • Braveness: braveness is essential because it helps us to withstand challenges that will come our method. • Justice: it is a essential advantage. Justice is equity and it’s the artwork of giving somebody what they deserve or advantage. To be unjust is to be unfair. • Temperance: this prevents us from appearing rashly; dropping our mood for instance. • Knowledge: this isn’t information: it’s the capacity to know how you can act in the best method specifically conditions. • Industriousness: exhausting work. • Hope: being optimistic. • Endurance.
Beneath the virtues should be the great will of the individual. To be virtuous, one should want to do virtuous issues, quite than do them involuntarily. An act just isn’t virtuous if it isn’t meant. MacIntyre additionally used the thought of inner and exterior items, a model of which is seen in Pure Legislation. An inner good is restricted to the exercise itself; for instance, giving cash to charity leads to serving to others and creating a way of satisfaction. An exterior good, is an effective that isn’t particular to the act. For instance, when giving to charity, your instance could encourage others to do the identical. MacIntyre additionally warned that being virtuous doesn’t forestall you from being open to vices.
He provides the instance of an amazing violinist who could possibly be vicious, or a chess participant who could possibly be imply spirited. The vices would forestall these folks from reaching most advantage. MacIntyre means that the three most vital virtues are justice, braveness and honesty. We are able to solely obtain ethical excellence by practising these three. They’re core virtues that assist to forestall organisations and establishments from turning into morally corrupt. It’s largely by establishments that traditions, cultures and morality unfold: if these establishments are corrupt, then vices grow to be widespread. Philippa Foot Philippa Foot has additionally put collectively a contemporary model of advantage ethics.
She has argued that the sensible individual directs their will to what’s good and is one thing that’s each intrinsically and extrinsically good (see MacIntyre above). The sensible, or virtuous individual additionally is aware of that there are specific methods of acquiring sure items and it’s these methods of acquiring items which might be the virtues. She additionally argues that virtues and expertise are various things. We could make a deliberate mistake with a talent, however not injury our character or status; for instance, a trainer who intentionally misspells a phrase to attract their college students consideration to it. Nevertheless, in the event you intentionally act in a non-virtuous method, your status and character will undergo. Foot additionally characterises virtues as ‘correctives’. She likens people to planks of wooden which might be neglected to season.
Wooden naturally warps and adjustments form and it wants steady straightening to make it straight. Virtues do the identical for the human character: they regularly straighten us out in order that finally we are able to, by behavior, grow to be virtuous. Analysis of advantage ethics argued that justice and truthfulness aren’t a center method, however are moral absolutes that we have now an obligation to observe. Grotius argued that there are absolute ethical legal guidelines that we have now an obligation to obey and that may be labored out by anybody of ample intelligence. ———————– [1] Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics, X 1172a. [2] Ibid: I, 1095b. ———————– The 5 major mental virtues The 4 secondary mental virtues

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