The Importance Of Virtue Ethics

1292 Words 6 Pages
Virtue Ethics
Every day, each one of us is faced with making an ethical decision and the way that we handle this emphasises our personal ethical values. Philosophical ethics is understood as how an individual lives their life guided by their moral principles. The normative ethical theory, virtue ethics focuses on the idea that an individual should not obsess about the outcomes of their actions but should instead try to understand what it is to be a good person (Hales, 2012). The theory places value on three significant views, virtue, practical wisdom and eudaimonia (Hursthouse, 2013). These concepts claim that the purpose of one’s life is to achieve fulfilment while acting and thinking virtuously (Cunningham, 2015). “It has been suggested that
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Phronesis is an ability that one must have in order to understand how they can think and act virtuously towards all their life’s decisions (Cunningham, 2015). In the book ‘Perfecting Virtue’ (2011), authors Jost and Weurth explain that Aristotle claimed that it is impossible to possess phronesis without virtue. This concept is based on an individual’s virtuous actions that can lead to the proper outcomes (Winter, 2011). Although many people can act virtuously towards their decisions, they are not considered as “virtue ethicists if they do not see the virtuous character or motivation as the most important element” in their actions (Skorupski, 2010, pp. 479).

The final concept of virtue ethics is eudaimonia, and to achieve this, is considered the goal of a human’s life. Eudaimonia translates as, fulfilment, flourishing or well-being. This concept is the ultimate outcome regarding virtue ethics as ethicists believe that they way one thinks and acts in accordance with virtue, is necessary for their eudaimonia (Hursthouse, 2013). Cunningham (2015, pp. 14), states, “Each human life gains it’s vibrancy and quality from its relations to, and relationships with, the other parts that together form the
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“The problem concerns the question of which character traits are the virtues” (Hursthouse, 2013). Some individuals may not know how to justify their beliefs and may do actions that can have consequences for others but may only benefit themselves. People need to understand that what is considered virtuous for them may not be for others. For example, if a person believes that eating meat is vital for their health and they try to explain the benefits of eating meat to a vegetarian, that person will not have the same ethical beliefs. Therefore, individuals need to fully understand what traits they possess that are virtuous and can lead both themselves and others around them to a fulfilled

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