Epley's Theory Of Virtue Ethics

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Virtue ethics is a moral theory that focuses on character and virtue rather than action (Epley). Instead of asking “what should I do” it asks “how should I be (Epley).” This theory is more concerned with who you are as a person and what your purpose, or telos, is in life (Epley). Flourishing is the good and what it means for creatures such as us is to realize our nature as human beings (Epley). Virtue is defined as a way one acts and feels that falls in line with an ideal or model of excellence or success (Vaughn). We become virtuous by doing virtuous things, so we have to develop virtuous habits (Epley). These habits can include such things as the phrase “fake it until you make it” or simply going through the motions until you develop practical …show more content…
It raises the question for many as to what a virtuous person would actually do (Vaughn). The problem critics say is that the theory says the right action is the one performed by the virtuous person and that the virtuous person is the one that performs the right action (Vaughn). But this is only a circular argument that needs to be avoided by providing some answer as to what this right action is (Vaughn). Before finding out if a person is virtuous or not, the action itself needs to be evaluated (Vaughn). However, that evaluation goes way beyond what virtue ethics is all about (Vaughn). This criticism can be extended a step further. Some may argue that while a person may possess all the right virtues but still be unable to tell what the right action is (Vaughn). Similarly, a virtuous person may act with complete virtue but can still commit an immoral act (Vaughn). These arguments show that the rightness of an action does not have to depend on the standards of someone’s character (Vaughn). Each person has their own standards of what they think is morally right and wrong …show more content…
I would say this theory is great in explaining the person you should strive to be in your life. Your life and who you are and become is based off of your actions and what is truly the right action. But that is where the critics are right in how the theory falls through. No one can say what the right action is and how to exactly acquire the virtues you need for success. I do however feel that there is room to respond to the critics and provide more information on the theory itself. A virtue theorist can in fact say that there is some moral guidance to be had about virtues and vices (Vaughn). According to virtue ethicist Rosalind Hursthouse, we can discover our moral duties by studying the terms that are associated with virtues and vices (Vaughn). These terms can describe specific moral guidance

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