Are Virtue Ethics Or Ethics? Essay examples

1093 Words May 30th, 2016 5 Pages
Are virtue ethics or ethics of character, superior to an ethics of conduct? If a person was on a boat with five other people, and that boat could only hold five people total or it would sink, what course of action should be taken, if any? In discussing normative ethics, three major approaches offer solutions to this question, consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics. A consequentialist might determine that one person would have to be sacrificed for the better of all. A deontologist may forbid this type of action because it violates the premise of do the right thing no matter the consequence. Someone in agreement with virtue ethics may show courage and heroism and sacrifice himself or herself to help the others. While conduct theories such as consequentialism and deontology have credence is some situations, virtue ethics ultimately addresses the value of moral character, which eventually in time and practice can guide a person on “how to be”, and to obtain happiness and the “good life”. In this paper, I will discuss the different approaches of normative theories and illustrate why virtue ethics is the best path for living a good, satisfying life. In the history of ethics, “Virtue Ethics founding fathers are Plato and, more particularly Aristotle (its roots in Chinese philosophy are even more ancient) and it persisted as the dominant approach in Western moral philosophy until at least the Enlightenment” (Husrthouse, Fall 2013). Following this period, virtue ethics…

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