Example Of Moral Theory And Virtue Ethics Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Ethics, Morality, Theory, Virtue, Character, Actions, Deontology, Aristotle

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/01/02

Moral Theory and Virtue Ethics

A moral theory elucidates why a particular action is wrong or why person should act in certain ways. The theories of morality are listed as moral subjectivism, cultural relativism, ethical egoism divine command theory and virtue ethics, etc. Ethical theories are divided into two ethics of conduct and ethics of character. Ethics of conduct major on the type of actions that individuals should perform whereas the ethics of character major on the type of people individuals should be. The ethics of conduct comprise of consequentialism and deontology, and the ethics of character comprises of aristoteleanism (Hursthouse, 2013). Deontological and consequential ethical theories are referred to as the action-based theories of morality since they center exclusively on the actions by which a person performs. Virtue-based ethical theories consign little importance on an individual’s code of conduct as an alternative it helps people establish good personality traits. The established character traits , as a result, enable an individual to make informed decisions later on in life.
Virtue theorists additionally stress the necessity for persons to gain knowledge of manners in which to get rid of bad habits of disposition. Virtue ethics is the most ancient ethical theory as it associated with the ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. Plato outlined four critical virtues wisdom, bravery, justice and temperance. Aristotle drafted the first detailed description of virtue ethics in the Nichomachean Ethics. When individuals gain proper mannerisms of personality, they are capable of controlling their emotions and their chain of thought (Kosman, 1999). For this reason, they are able to formulate morally upright choices when faced with challenging situations.
Virtue ethics is well-known because it emphasizes on the innermost task played by motives in moral dilemmas. A person acts out of virtue because of a particular motivation therefore it is correct to assume that particular virtues lead to correct moral decisions. In addition, virtue theories are also popular is because other moral theories share in common the challenge in handling complex moral situations over things to do or moral duties to stress on. A lot of typical moral theories such as deontology and utilitarianism provide reasonably clear accounts of the reason people exhibit and portray certain behavior given the restrictions of the moral representations they are accustomed to (Beauchamp, 2005). The deontological theory, for example, acts in response to accomplish ethical duties. On the other hand, virtue theorists are obliged to offer comparable explanation of what the moral motivation of virtuous agents looks like in virtue ethics.
The actuality of virtue ethics is complex because most moral predicaments demand a lot of vigilant reasoning and thinking. Having the right character is not enough to make the right decision. The verity that regulation based and obligation based ethical systems are convoluted and hard to use does not make a person of noble character more probable to formulate the right choices. An importance to comprehending virtue theories of ethics is to regard them as methods to approach moral psychology but not moral epistemology. This, in other words, this means that virtue theories should not be compared with theories based on formulating moral decisions. Rather, virtue theories of ethics ought to be considered as methods to comprehend how persons develop into moral creatures, how they establish the ways in which they formulate decisions and the course of action to developing moral stances.


Beauchamp, T. L., Bowie, N. E., & Arnold, D. G. (Eds.). (2004). Ethical theory and business.
Hursthouse, R. (2013). Normative virtue ethics. ETHICA, 645.
Kosman, A. L. (1999). Being properly affected: Virtues and feelings in Aristotle's Ethics.

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