A discussion of personal virtues and moral character

According to Aristotle, the virtuous habit of action is always an intermediate state between the opposed vices of excess and deficiency: Aristotle would be on stronger grounds if he could show that in the absence of close friends one would be severely restricted in the kinds of virtuous activities one could undertake.

Perhaps such a project could be carried out, but Aristotle himself does not attempt to do so.

Aristotle's Ethics

Liberality with wealth and possessions 4. Why does he not address those who have serious doubts about the value of these traditional qualities, and who therefore have not yet decided to cultivate and embrace them? However, most theorists agree that morality comes as a result of intrinsic virtues.

Can life be lived any better?

Moral Character

Paul Ramsey's insistence that the focus of medicine is not the curing of illness but the care of patients "as persons," can be interpreted as an account of medicine commensurate with an emphasis on the virtues.

Aristotle does not mean to suggest that unequal relations based on the mutual recognition of good character are defective in these same ways. So it would appear that generosity, honesty, compassion and courage despite being virtues, are sometimes faults. Aristotle assumes that when someone systematically makes bad decisions about how to live his life, his failures are caused by psychological forces that are less than fully rational.

For a discussion of the persistence of Aristotelian ethics in the early modern period and a response to Schneewind, see Frede A soldier who has courageously proven himself in battle situations over the course of numerous years will not cease to be courageous overnight.

It may be true that most of us can recognize that it would be foolish to risk our lives and the lives of others to secure a trivial benefit, and that most of us can see that it is unjust to harm others to secure power and wealth for our own comfort.

Holiness keeps love from turning into idolatry and codependence and love keeps holiness from turning into an aloof, austere judgmentalism. The only aspect that makes a human truly virtuous is to behave in accordance with moral principles.

There are now a number of careful studies of the cardinal virtues and capital vices Pieper ; Taylor ; Curzer ; Timpe and Boyd Most ancient philosophers were virtue theorists of some sort or other.

It may be that the virtue ethics of Hutcheson and Hume can be naturally extended into a modern political philosophy Hursthouse —91; Slote How do one realize these powers fully? As Gary Ferngren and Darrel Amundsen observe, "If health was, for most Greeks, the greatest of the virtues, it is not surprising that they devoted a great deal of attention to preserving it.

He can, in other words, be incontinent or weak-willed. University of Notre Dame Press.

Virtues List

He believed that by participating in these institutions, Athenians were called upon to rise above their individual partialities and to consider the general good.

The ethics of "stranger medicine" is best construed, Veatch contends, on the presumption that the relationship between doctor and patient is contractual. Both of these sets of theories are commonly described as ethics of rules.On such a view, where the central focus is on obedience to moral law, the virtues and moral character are secondary to action in accordance with law.

What are Virtues?

virtues is indirect in that it comes about only as a result of there being an accepted practice of exercising these virtues. Hume’s discussion of justice illustrates how the artificial.

Virtue Ethics

The virtue of practical wisdom—knowing what to do in particular situations, For most virtue ethicists, phronesis is a virtue you pick up after years of life experience and appropriate moral education. Virtue (Latin: virtus, Ancient Greek: ἀρετή "arete") is moral excellence.A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being.

Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness. The opposite of virtue is vice. The four classic cardinal. Unfortunately, a series of studies by Hartshorne and colleagues (,) showed that particular techniques of character training, such as in-class discussion, or even practicing helping activities, bore little or no significant relationship to pupil's later patterns of moral conduct.

Virtues Leading to Christlikeness. IA.


The Concept of Virtue 1B. A Definition of Virtue our character. 2B. Virtue in Greek Thought. Many of the Greeks including Aristotle and the Stoics argued that moral virtue was developed according to human achievement and that the goal in mind was personal happiness.

22 Others argued that moral. The moral life is also a matter of trying to determine the kind of people we should be and of attending to the development of character within our communities and ourselves. This article appeared originally in Issues in Ethics V1 N3 (Spring ).

A discussion of personal virtues and moral character
Rated 4/5 based on 99 review