Virtue Ethics

Julia Annas

Edited by David Copp

in The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195147797
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785841 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Virtue Ethics

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This chapter provides an intellectual framework for understanding modern theories of virtue. It presents a version of virtue ethics, which draws on the resources of the historical, particularly ancient, tradition, discussing the ways in which a virtue is a disposition, and the ways in which it involves practical reasoning and emotion. It explores virtue’s relation to flourishing (sometimes understood as happiness) and to right action, and the way in which virtue involves aspiring to an ideal. It also discusses the relation of virtue to human nature. Finally, it shows how some modern versions of virtue ethics can reasonably be seen as weaker or less complete theories than the one featured.

Keywords: virtue; disposition; practical reasoning; emotion; flourishing; happiness; right action; ideal; human nature

Chapter.  10648 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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