“Virtue Ethics Has No Practical Application to Modern Ethics”. Discuss

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“Virtue ethics has no practical application to modern ethics”. Discuss Virtue ethics is different from the other ethical approaches. It concentrates on the idea of human character. How can you be a better person? It’s concerned with the ethical character of an individual rather than the individual actions. Virtue ethics is neither teleological nor deontological as it doesn’t focus on actions or rules. It is concerned with the personality of the person (their moral character). Virtue ethics suggests that we should not focus on following guidelines about what types of things are right and wrong and what we should and should not do. Instead we should aim to become better people by developing positive character traits called virtues. Aristotle’s ideas concerning virtue are outlined by his use of the ‘Doctrine of the Mean’. He taught about to different vices that accompanied every virtue: * The vice of deficiency is the distinct lack of virtues, e.g. the deficient vice of modesty is shamelessness. * The vice of excess is entirely too much of the virtue which leads to excess rather than moderation, e.g. the excess vice of modesty is shyness. Aristotle asks followers to choose the mean or middle ground between virtue and defect: rather than praising a golden unevenness, followers are expected to discover the middle ground for themselves – to avoid excess and lacking character in any particular kind of action. Aristotle said that virtue is a state of having increased the ‘right prescription’ of good behaviour or ‘orthos logos’. A virtuous person will be able to apply the virtues to practical ethics for example; they will know when to show courage etc. Aristotle expands this idea by claiming that virtue ethics concerns passions as well as actions – a virtuous person is fearful when appropriate and fearless when fitting. Therefore it could be argued that this

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