Chapter

Aristotle: Virtue and Morality

TERENCE IRWIN

in The Development of Ethics: Volume 1

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780198242673
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680519 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198242673.003.0009

Series: Development of Ethics

Aristotle: Virtue and Morality

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Aristotle formulates an account of the virtues, conceived as states of character; he does not seek primarily to find an account of the different types of actions that a virtuous person chooses. Different claims about the priority of virtues over actions need to be considered. Aristotle's theory of the virtues answers some questions in moral psychology, explaining the connexions between virtue, reason, desire, pleasure, and responsibility. The chapter introduces some of the disagreements in order to identify the features of Aristotle's account that have raised controversies of interpretation and of philosophical assessment. The discussion of Aristotle leads to two things from his account of the virtues: it ought to develop naturalism into a systematic theory of the virtues, and it ought to develop naturalism into a systematic theory of morality.

Keywords: Aristotle; virtues; character; naturalism; morality; moral psychology; reason; pleasure; responsibility

Chapter.  22018 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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