Deontology And Aristotle's Virtue Analysis

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Kant’s deontology and Aristotle’s virtue ethics are similar in that they both question one’s intentions when handling issues of morality. Virtue ethics asks that one looks within, while deontology asks that one looks towards rationality and duty. Respect for humanity is essential – deontology showing this respect through requiring that one never treat another as merely a means to an end, but in respect to their means and their existence as ends as well. Virtue ethics requires such respect by way of the definition of virtue itself, meaning that a truly virtuous person would not disrespect humanity in the first place, since such an action would not seem to come from a virtuous character. Though one’s motives are questioned in both cases, the …show more content…
When implementing deontology in a practical sense, there seems to be a focus on reason at the expense of the character of the person themselves, leading to a sort of moral absolutism – meaning that moral principles should always be obeyed regardless of context or the consequences which may result. When following laws blindly of the context or consequences, there seems to be the possibility of making a decision which may abide by the moral principles deontology puts forth, but practically seems to lack a genuine understanding of the situation itself. Aristotelian virtue ethics deemphasizes rules and puts concentration on the character of the person who is acting. However, virtue ethics is not without its potential issues as well. If practically implemented, which characteristics actually qualify as virtues will differ from culture to culture. What one may consider virtuous may end up being a vice for another. Another issue may come from the conflict between virtues, and what may actually be the most virtuous action to take in a given situation. Conflicting virtues that demand different actions could cause confusion on the correct course of action to take. Also, virtue ethics sets very strict and high standards. As Aristotle writes …show more content…
I say this because going back to his words, “so much, then, is plain, that the intermediate state is in all things to be praised, but that we must incline sometimes towards the excess, sometimes towards the deficiency; for so shall we most easily hit the mean and what is right.” For someone such as Aristotle, who advocates moderation between two extremes, pushing us towards the extreme of goodness to the level of rareness that only saints have achieved to me seems to be misaligned with his message of balance. Like bending a bent piece of wood from one direction to another so that it falls into being straight once again, by setting these high standards, Aristotle is pushing us from the deficiency of goodness and the bad habits we have accumulated in our lives towards the practice of extremely good and noble actions so that we eventually fall into the mean between bad and good. For someone who has done bad all their life, it seems that this person will need to attempt to do absolute good all of the time until he builds upon this habit and internalizes the ability to discern what exactly is the right place, right time, etc, to do the right action to the point where he achieves the mean and finds himself a virtuous

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