Virtue Ethics : The Key Element Of Ethical Thinking Essay

1564 Words Dec 14th, 2015 7 Pages
Kathy Szelag
Intro to Philosophy
Dr. Tapia
Due Date: 12/15/15
Virtue Ethics
Virtue ethics is an approach to ethics that is used to emphasize an individual 's character as the key element of ethical thinking. Virtue ethics is not so much interested in the question 'What should I do? ' but rather in the question 'what sort of person should I become? ' It has more to do with a person 's moral character than with the rights and wrongs of their actions. Instead of concentrating on what is the right thing to do, virtue ethics asks how you can be a better person. Being a virtuous person means making morally enlightened choices that express your deepest convictions and highest aspirations. Moral character refers to the integrated totality of your moral traits and dispositions, the ways in which you habitually respond when confronted with moral choices. This does not mean that an individual cannot change or refine their moral character; however, it will take time to alter their personal-self portrait by making choices. Greek philosopher that goes by the name of Plato, believed that happiness must be gained through the pursuit of virtue and that there were four cardinal virtue. The four virtues are: temperance, courage, prudence, and justice. Plato believed if a person 's actions are in order then their actions will be good.
Aristotle, who was one of Plato 's students became one of the most influential figures in Virtue Ethics. He was a great believer that genuinely…

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