Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 7

Surname

Professor
Institution
Course
Date
Virtue ethics
Introduction
Virtue ethics is the being rather than action based because it looks at the moral or virtue
personality of the person carrying the action, instead of rules and ethical duties, or the results of
particular deeds. Virtue ethics not only deals with the correctness or inexactness of individual
deeds, but it also offers guidance as to the sort of features and behaviors a good person will seek
to accomplish. The truth of virtue ethics is not as simple and straight as some people might
imagine. Although many common ethical decisions may indeed come more easily to a person of
the right ethical personality, the idea of the matter is that most ethical dilemmas need a great deal
of careful thinking and reasoning. Modestly, having the right personality cannot be enough to
make the right choice possibly, much less guaranteed. The idea that rule based and duty based
moral systems are complex and challenging to employ does not make a person of good
personality more probably to make the right decisions. When we think about ethics, we normally
appeal to principles and consider about how specific actions fit with those principles. These
ethical principles focus mainly on the actions and deeds of people. Based on the article by
Alasdair MacIntyre, virtue is a matter of actions and desires that leads to praises and
accomplishes success. It would be all too easy to conclude that there are a number of alternative
and rival notions, but even within the early western tradition, no single core notion. This precise

Surname
paper is meant to discuss the nature of virtues, different approaches of virtue ethics and views
closest to the ideal of virtue ethics based on the article by Alasdair Maclntyre.
The nature of virtues
Whatever controversies and variety of views there are about the nature of virtues,
Alasdair Maclntyre attempts to explain it by first revisiting on three different theories. In
particular, Maclntyre claimed that the elements of a rationally defensive ethics could be found in
one of these diverse conceptions of a virtue. Homer, Aristotle, Jane Austen and Benjamin
Franklin are the key philosophers who have attempted to explain the nature of virtues in different
ways. According to Homer, a virtues is a quality that enables an individual to discharge his or
social role. At least some of the items used by Homer to explain the nature of virtue would
clearly not be counted by most of us nowadays as virtues at all, physical strength being the most
noticeable instance. This is because, we could agree without any kind of twist that the control of
physical strength is the position of an excellence (MacIntyre 27).
However, Aristotle describes virtue as a quality that facilitates an individual to move
towards the accomplishment of the human supernatural. Unlike any knowledgeable capacity,
virtues of personality are statements to act in particular ways in response to alike circumstances,
the habits of acting in a particular way. Hence, good behavior arises from habits that in turn can
only be attained by repeated deed and improvement, making ethics a deeply practical discipline.
According to Aristotle, the good habit of action is often a transitional state between the
deficiency and the divergent vices of excess. This means that too little and too much are often
wrong and the right sort of action often lies in the mean. On the other hand, Franklin and Jane
describes a virtue as a quality that has utility in accomplishing heavenly and earthly achievement

Surname
(MacIntyre 28). Franklin comprise virtues that are new to our considerations such as silence,
industry and cleanliness and clearly reflects the drive to attain itself a part of virtue.
The New Testament's explanation of the virtues, even if it varies as much as it does in
content from Aristotle's, does have the alike conceptual and logical and structure as Aristotle's
explanation. A virtue is, as in Aristotle account, a value of the exercise of which results to the
accomplishment of human telos. The virtuous for man is of course a supernatural and not only a
natural virtuous, but supernatural redeems and completes nature. In addition, the association of
virtues as means to the end, which is human integration in the kingdom of future generation, is
internal and not external, just as it is in Aristotle. Aristotle himself does not define the difference
that internal and external means to an end, but it is a major difference to be drawn if we are to
comprehend what Aristotle intended. Consequently, the relationship of virtues to the social order
has transformed. According to Homer, the approach of human excellence is the warrior while
according to Aristotle it is the Athenian man. Indeed, Aristotle virtues are only available to those
of great riches and of high social status hence there are virtues that are inaccessible to the poor
man, even if he is a free man (MacIntyre 27).
Approaches to virtue ethics
At the core of the virtue, approach to ethics is the fact of society. A persons personality
traits are not based in segregation, but within and by the societies, to which he or she belongs,
comprising church, family, and other public and private relations. As people mature and grow,
their characters are deeply affected by the values that their societies reward, by the character
traits that their societies inspire, and by the role models that their societies put forward for
replication via fictions, movies, traditional tales and television. The virtue approach urges us to

Surname
focus to the contours of our societies and the habits of personality they inspire and teach.
Alasdair MacIntyre has defined and described various approaches to virtue ethics.
According to Alasdair MacIntyre, the virtues are only exercised in the course of a
practice. This means that any complex and coherent form of socially recognized cooperative
activity via which internal goods to that form of activity are realized in the process of trying to
accomplish those principles of excellence. Hence, the variety of practices is wide since it
comprise sciences, paintings, games, politics in the Aristotelian logic, the creating and
management of family life. However, the question of the particular range of practices is not at
this phase of the initial significance. Instead, there are key terms that Alasdair uses, starting with
the conception of goods internal to practice. There are always alternate ways for accomplishing
goods internal to practice, and their accomplishment is never to be had only by participating is
some precise kind of practice. This is clearly the situation with all the major instances of
practices, consider for instance, the practice of portrait painting as it developed in Western
Europe from the early middle ages up to the eighteenth century (MacIntyre 30).
The excellent portrait painter is able to accomplish multiple goods that are in the logic
just defined external to the practice of portrait painting-fame, social status and wealth. A practice
comprises principles of excellence and obedience to rules as well as the accomplishment of
goods. To enter into a practice is to accept the authority of those principles and the insufficiency
of my own performance as judged by them (MacIntyre 31). In general, external goods comprise
objects of competition in which there must be winners as well as losers. On the other hand,
internal goods are the result of competition to succeed, but it is feature of them that their
accomplishment is good for the entire society who are involved in the practice.

Surname
The approach of practice gives the clear explanation of a virtue. This means that a virtue
is an attained human quality, the control and exercise of which inclines to enable us to
accomplish those goods that are internal to practices and the lack of which successfully prevents
us from accomplishing any such goods. In other words, we have to admit as appropriate
constituents of any practice with internal goods and principles of success, the virtue of justice,
honesty and courage (MacIntyre 32). The case with courage is a little diverse. This is because;
we hold courage to be a virtue of care and concern for people, societies and causes that are so
vital to so much in practices need the presence of such virtue. Virtues stand in a diverse
association to internal and to external goods. The ownership of the virtues is suitable to
accomplish the final, yet the ownership of the virtues may perfectly well prevent us in
accomplishing external goods. Thus, though we may hope that we can not only accomplish the
principles of excellence and the internal goods of particular practices by owning the virtues and
become prosperous, powerful and popular, the virtues are often a potential obstacle to this
contented ambition (MacIntyre 33).
Conclusion
Virtue ethics not only deals with the correctness or inexactness of individual deeds, but it
also offers guidance as to the sort of features and behaviors a good person will seek to
accomplish. Based on the article by Alasdair MacIntyre, it is true that virtue is a matter of actions
and desires that leads to praises and accomplishes success. Alasdair Maclntyre attempts to
explain the nature of virtue by first revisiting on three different theories. At the core of the virtue,
approach to ethics is the fact of society. Alasdair MacIntyre describes approaches of the virtue
ethics using the concept of a practice. In other words, the complex and coherent form of socially
recognized cooperative activity via which internal goods to that form of activity are realized in

Surname
the process of trying to accomplish those principles of excellence. In virtue ethics, there are
particular ideals, such as dedication or excellence to the mutual good, toward which we should
struggle and which permit the full growth of our mortality. These ideals are invented via
thoughtful consideration on what we as human beings have the possibility to become. Therefore,
the Alasdairs approach and view on virtues is closest to the ideal of virtue ethics.

Surname
References
MacIntyre, Alasdair. 'The Nature of the Virtues'. The Hastings Center Report 11.2 (1981): 27.
Web.