Chapter

Right Action

Rosalind Hursthouse

in On Virtue Ethics

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780199247998
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597756 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199247994.003.0002
 Right Action

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It has been said that virtue ethics does not, and cannot, provide action guidance, the way utilitarianism and deontology do because it rejects codifiability and does not come up with any rules or principles. But this is a misconception: virtue ethics can provide a specification of ‘right action’—as ‘what a virtuous agent would, characteristically do in the circumstances’—and such a specification can be regarded as generating a number of moral rules, called ‘v‐rules’. Each virtue generates an instruction—‘do what is honest’, ‘do what is charitable,’ and each vice a prohibition—‘do not act, do what is dishonest, uncharitable..’

Keywords: codifiability; deontology; moral rules; right action; utilitarianism; virtue ethics

Chapter.  7214 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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