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14 - What virtues are there?

from PART II - TYPES OF VIRTUES

Candace Upton
Affiliation:
University of Denver
Stan van Hooft
Affiliation:
Deakin University, Australia
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Summary

The so-called revival of virtue ethics has, in the past few decades, expanded to include research on a wide range of previously unexplored terrain. Virtue ethicists have provided complex and subtle accounts of the interrelation between the virtues, how the virtues can guide human action, virtue ethics' distinctness from its more familiar theoretical alternatives, its relation to moral psychological findings, what eudaimonia consists in, how the virtues benefit their possessor, and how virtue-ethical reasoning ought to proceed. This development of virtue ethics, in its attention to the theoretical considerations that under-lie these different virtue-ethical frameworks, has opened the door to several previously neglected areas of enquiry. One of the most interesting vectors along which virtue ethics has recently developed includes a variety of responses to the question: what dispositions qualify as moral virtues?

Any well-trained virtue ethicist can point to several virtues as falling within the canon of the virtues we plausibly can and ought to endorse: honesty, generosity, courage and justice all belong in the standard inventory. And a quick scan of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics reminds the virtue ethicist of several other dispositions that are often taken to count as moral virtues: pride, good temper, truthfulness, temperance, benevolence, generosity, friendliness and ready wit are all dispositions that the virtue ethicist can reasonably embrace.

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Publisher: Acumen Publishing
Print publication year: 2013

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