Introduction to Virtue Ethics

Introduction to Virtue Ethics

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This fascinating examination of the development of virtue ethics in the early stages of western civilization deals with a wide range of philosophers and schools of philosophy -- from Socrates and the Stoics to Plato, Aristotle, and the Epicureans, among others. This introduction examines those human attributes that we have come to know as the qstuffq of virtue: desire, happiness, the qgood, q character, the role of pride, prudence, and wisdom, and links them to more current or modern conceptions and controversies. The tension between viewing ethics and morality as fundamentally religious or as fundamentally rational still runs deep in our culture. A second tension centers on whether we view morality primarily in terms of our obligations or primarily in terms of our desires for what is good. The Greek term arete, which we generally translate as qvirtue, q can also be translated as qexcellence.q Arete embraced both intellectual and moral excellence as well as human creations and achievements. Useful, certainly, for classrooms, Virtue Ethics is also for anyone interested in the fundamental question Socrates posed, qWhat kind of life is worth living?qHere, I touch on technical problems of translation and on some of the major debates swirling around questions of ... chapters in Robert Cavalier, James Gouinlock, and James Sterba, eds., Ethics in the History of Western Philosophy ( New York, 1989) and Lawrence Becker and Charlotte Becker, eds., A History of Western Ethics (New York, 1992) helpful starting points. ... on human reasoning and human feeling in his Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy ( Cambridge, MA, 2000).

Title:Introduction to Virtue Ethics
Author:Raymond J. Devettere
Publisher:Georgetown University Press - 2002-09-26


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