Aristotelian Virtue Ethics Essay

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“One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.” Whether or not you agree with the writing and the ideas of Aristotle, he was a great thinker, and his work is foundational in the world of philosophy. Aristotle’s ideas in the different disciplines of philosophy all overlap. His view of the four causes and his view of psuche both play an important role in developing his ethical theory. Although Aristotelian virtue ethics has been scrutinized for thousands of years, its adaptive nature has kept it a prevalent ethical theory, even in contemporary philosophy. What stands out from other ethical theories and is the most crucial element of Aristotle’s …show more content…
Our “rational soul” is our psuche in accordance with virtue. When keeping in mind our telos as persons, we build “good habits,” or virtues. Our psuche ought to mirror that of a perfectly virtuous man. After we achieve the most virtuous disposition, we will have the right decision making process for the rest of our lives, assuming we act on our virtuous disposition. An application of Aristotelian virtue ethics in more contemporary issues is its role in the abortion debate. One may think of a conceived fetus as a person because of the fetus’s telos qua fully human, just as a human qua fully human. A fetus may not have a significantly developed psuche; however, in performing an abortion, just as murder interferes with a human developing a virtuous disposition, abortion prevents that of a conceived fetus. Through the lens of an Aristotelian virtue ethicist, abortion is the same as murder. This is because abortion cuts fetuses off from ever reaching their …show more content…
Unbeknown to me, I have the flu, and my sneeze leads to all of the AIDS victims getting the flu as well. After a few days go by, all of the AIDS victims die from the flu. Utilitarianism, and other consequentialist ethical theories, would say that because I sneezed in one direction versus the other, I have hence acted morally reprehensible. When looking at the same situation from the perspective of a Aristotelian virtue ethicist, one could argue that the virtuous man would not have sneezed in the direction of 10 AIDS victims; however, the fact that they died from the sneeze is not the deciding factor in whether or not the action is morally obligatory or reprehensible, or neither. It would be something much more akin to the question: was my choice in sneeze direction virtuous, for example,

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