The Main Issue Between Utilitarianism and Virtue Ethics

Michael Slote

in From Morality to Virtue

Published in print August 1995 | ISBN: 9780195093926
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833689 | DOI:
The Main Issue Between Utilitarianism and Virtue Ethics

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The main issue between utilitarianism and commonsense virtue ethics is whether what is admirable is a function of the overall benefit a trait brings to sentient beings generally or whether there can be sources of admirability and virtue status somewhat independent of such overall consequences. It is argued by example that many kinds of admirability seem possible and that some of these do not grow out of overall likely benefits to sentient beings. This favors commonsense virtue ethics over utilitarianism.

Keywords: admirability; benefits; commonsense virtue ethics; utilitarianism; virtue status

Chapter.  5184 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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