Virtue Theory Essay

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Virtue Theory The definition of virtue is the behavior of showing high moral standards. Aristotle introduces the virtue theory as happiness, the act of functioning well. He introduces the function argument to further explain his theory of right action. James Rachels is a supplementalist of the virtue theory. He believes that virtue theory has its advantages, as well as its disadvantages. Hursthouse is a non-supplementalist criterialist of the virtue theory. She accepts virtue theory along with the idea that an action is right, if and only if it is what the virtuous agent would do in the circumstances. Annas rejects this idea, being a non-supplementalist non-criterialist. She rebuttals this statement with the idea that there are some situations a virtuous person would never find themselves in. James Rachels offers the most realistic viewpoint of the virtue theory, grounding his belief not only in vital qualities, but also the moral obligations we must serve as humans. Aristotle believes the greatest human good is that of happiness, and happiness equals virtuous activity. “So if there is only one final end, this will be the good of which we are in search and if there are more than one, it will be the most final of these” (Aristotle, 199). People will mistake happiness for pleasure or wealth, however, these are not ends in themselves. Goodness has no end in itself; it is honest contentment. The human good is that at which all of our deliberate actions aim. That is to say, know what you are doing is virtuous, and decide to do it because it is virtuous. Happiness seems to be found in self sufficiency, not only for yourself, but members of your family, as well. Aristotle presents the Function Argument as an activity more or less unique to something. This argument states that the human function is rational activity, concluding that a good human is one who reasons well.
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