The Ethics of Virtue and the Ethics of Right Action

Classical Formulation: Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics

Legalistic Morality (Contrast)

Should We Return to the Ethics of Virtue?

Anscombe's complaint

Vices of Legalism (e.g. Kant's) & the Virtues of Virtue

The Virtues

What virtues (& vices) are

Moral Virtues as Means between Vices of Excess & Defect

Why "virtue is its own reward"

Advantages of Virtue Ethics

Correct Account of moral motivation:

Makes room for partiality

  • loyalty and friendship are virtues
  • one is allowed -- even required -- to show partiality for family, friends, etc.
  • to the right right persons, in the right circumstances, to an appropriate degree, etc.
  • Speaks to feminist concerns about masculine bias

    Explains centrality of Moral Heroes in almost Every Ethical Tradition

    Criticisms of Virtue Ethics: Incomplete & Insufficient

    Neglects Conduct


    Warring Analogies