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Virtue, Vice, and Value

Thomas Hurka

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780195137163
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833283 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195137167.001.0001
Virtue, Vice, and Value

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What are virtue and vice, and how do they relate to other moral properties such as goodness and rightness? This book defends a perfectionist account of virtue and vice that gives distinctive answers to these questions. The account treats the virtues as higher‐level intrinsic goods, ones that involve morally appropriate attitudes to other, independent goods and evils. Virtue by itself makes a person's life better, but in a way that depends on the goodness of other things. This account was accepted by many early twentieth‐ century consequentialists, including Franz Brentano, G. E. Moore, Hastings Rashdall, and W. D. Ross. The book elaborates it further than has been done before, describing its mathematical structure, connecting it to individual virtues and vices, and applying it to specific issues such as the morality of fantasy and the proper roles of private charity and the welfare state. While doing so, it argues for the account's superiority over rival views of virtue, including those defended under the heading of “virtue ethics.”

Keywords: consequentialism; ethics; evil; good; intrinsic; perfectionism; value; vice; virtue; virtue ethics

Book.  284 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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Table of Contents

The Recursive Account in Virtue, Vice, and Value

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Merits and Implications in Virtue, Vice, and Value

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Degrees of Virtue and Vice in Virtue, Vice, and Value

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Varieties of Virtue and Vice in Virtue, Vice, and Value

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How Great a Good Is Virtue? in Virtue, Vice, and Value

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Extending the Account in Virtue, Vice, and Value

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Against Virtue Ethics in Virtue, Vice, and Value

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