Virtue Ethics : The Moral Character Of An Individual Essay

956 Words Dec 1st, 2015 4 Pages
Virtue ethics focuses on the moral character of an individual. It is said that by practicing virtuousness one can achieve arete, or human excellence, and eudaimonia, or true human flourishing. By bettering one 's humanity and living their life purposefully and meaningfully one can live the “good life”. Whereas consequentialism focuses on the consequences of acts being good or bad and deontology focuses on rules about the acts themselves, virtue theory brings the individual 's personal character and morality into question as to whether that person is acting out of goodness or badness. It would seem that consequentialism and deontology would be better used for broad and complex situations and virtue theory for more personal and simpler ones. However, by focusing on the direct source of all actions and thereby cultivating a virtuous self, ethical rules and acts are much more likely to be carried out. After all, how could one be expected to be ethical without being virtuous? In all fairness, I think it 's safe to say that virtue theory can be described as the baseline theory for all ethics. Of course, becoming virtuous takes time and experience. One must habitually practice balance in thought and action to be able to to perfect a virtuous humanity. The balance being between too little and too much. As Aristotle states in Nicomachean Ethics, “First, then, one must recognize this, that things such as virtues are of such a nature as to be destroyed by deficiency and by excess...”…

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