Virtue theory emphasises Aristotle's belief in the polis as the acme of political organisation, and the role of the virtues in enabling human beings to flourish in that environment. Hooyah! Virtue ethics mainly deals with the honesty and morality of a person. has established that one source was the rapid, internal evolution of moral theory among certain sectors of these societies, notably the Quakers. [citation needed] Others argue that laws should be made by virtuous legislators. These traits lead to increased happiness when practiced. [24], Within the field of philosophy of education, James Page argues that virtue ethics can provide a rationale and foundation for peace education. At the time, to lose in battle yet remain alive meant almost certain enslavement. (1 don't say "ethical theory" because the confused story presents virtue ethics as radically anti-theoretical.) The western tradition's key concepts derive from ancient Greek philosophy. Instead of saying that one has a moral duty to abstain from murder, a consequentialist would say that we should abstain from murder because it causes undesirable effects. 1123a (33-36), [vi]H.D.F. We will get to that person in a later essay. Pojman, L.P. & Fieser, J. Though the tradition receded into the background of European philosophical thought in these past few centuries, the term "virtue" remained current during this period, and in fact appears prominently in the tradition of classical republicanism or classical liberalism. Robert B. Louden criticises virtue ethics on the basis that it promotes a form of unsustainable utopianism. Phronesis (Practical or Moral Wisdom) » Arete (Excellence of Virtue) October 8, 2009 by ryan531f. “Pride seems even from its name to be concerned with great things…the man is thought to be proud who thinks himself worthy of great things, being worthy of them.”[v]. Socrates argued that virtue is knowledge, which suggests that there is really only one virtue. As Alasdair MacIntyre observed in After Virtue, thinkers as diverse as: Homer; the authors of the New Testament; Thomas Aquinas; and Benjamin Franklin; have all proposed lists.[19]. Its opposite is humility. The Battle for the West – Thermopylae 480 B.C., McGraw Hill, NY, 1980. Discussion of what were known as the Four Cardinal Virtues—wisdom, justice, fortitude, and temperance—can be found in Plato's Republic. You can choose irrational values. During the scholastic period, the most comprehensive consideration of the virtues from a theological perspective was provided by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae and his Commentaries on the Nicomachean Ethics. Thus they held their means of living as a supreme value: their mind and their body. In her book Technology and the Virtues,[30] Shannon Vallor proposed a series of 'technomoral' virtues that people need to cultivate in order to flourish in our socio-technological world: Honesty (Respecting Truth), Self-control (Becoming the Author of Our Desires), Humility (Knowing What We Do Not Know), Justice (Upholding Rightness), Courage (Intelligent Fear and Hope), Empathy (Compassionate Concern for Others), Care (Loving Service to Others), Civility (Making Common Cause), Flexibility (Skillful Adaptation to Change), Perspective (Holding on to the Moral Whole), and Magnanimity (Moral Leadership and Nobility of Spirit). According to Aristotle, the most prominent exponent of eudaimonia in the Western philosophical tradition, eudaimonia is the proper goal of human life. Though, your article was great to read. Like much of the Western tradition, virtue theory seems to have originated in ancient Greek philosophy. It’s related to araomai, to pray, and to aristos, meaning “the best.” That’s where the word “aristocracy” comes from. There are three main strands of Virtue Ethics: Eudaimonism is the classical formulation of Virtue Ethics. There are only 5 supplements grounded in solid science. These concepts include arete (excellence or virtue), phronesis (practical or moral wisdom), and eudaimonia (flourishing). We study ethics in order to improve our lives, and therefore its principal concern is the nature of human well-being. They despised pure theory – thought cut off and detached from the world. Best, Eudaimonia, or "well being," is the virtue that Plato teaches we must all aim toward. They are one of many things living entities seek. Marijuana and other recreational drugs would be an example of this. The saying, “Well that’s fine in theory, but it doesn’t work in practice”  results from such unfounded speculation. [citation needed] Obviously, strong claims about the purpose of human life, or of what the good life for human beings is, will be highly controversial. Nussbaum also points to considerations of virtue by utilitarians such as Henry Sidgwick (The Methods of Ethics), Jeremy Bentham (The Principles of Morals and Legislation), and John Stuart Mill, who writes of moral development as part of an argument for the moral equality of women (The Subjection of Women). Nichomachean Ethics, Book IV, Chapter II, pg. But virtue ethics has been revived in recent years as an alternative to consequentialist and deontological theories. This site, along with our facebook page, also helps raise awareness and funding for combat casualty research, development, and education. The Greatest Happiness Principle of John Stuart Mill is one of the most commonly adopted criteria. We first see gymnasia, places to exercise and take care of the body, in Ancient Greece. There are several lists of particular virtues. 23. Arete - Excellence, Strength, Virtue Trying to come to a single set of virtues is immensely difficult in contemporary societies as, according to Louden, they contain "more ethnic, religious, and class groups than did the moral community which Aristotle theorized about" with each of these groups having "not only its own interests but its own set of virtues as well". Thank you for the feedback. However, most theorists agree that morality comes as a result of intrinsic virtues. Today, there is debate among various adherents of virtue ethics concerning what specific virtues are morally praiseworthy. Proponents of virtue theory sometimes respond to this objection by arguing that a central feature of a virtue is its universal applicability. Pg. This disagreement over the meaning of virtue points to a larger conflict between virtue theory and its philosophical rivals. From Aristotle to the 21st century; 2 Why Should I Be Moral?Because of My Character! [4] As John McDowell puts it, practical wisdom involves a "perceptual sensitivity" to what a situation requires.[5]. It means that we have free will, that our fate is not determined solely by our environment, our nurturing, or our genes. There are many rational virtues you can practice, but in Ancient Greece four reigned supreme. Find out information about Arete (virtue). The origins of virtue ethics lie in ancient Greece, most particularly in the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics & Virtue. Good job. [citation needed] It characterizes the well-lived life. Register here. For a brilliant introductory lecture on the meaning of practical wisdom in virtue ethics by Professor Schwartz of the University of Colorado go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA-zdh_bQBo For Aristotle, the good life does not consist in isolated good actions as much as good character building a flourishing life (eudaimonia = happiness or flourishing). Man has to choose, which means a requirement to think. In their era, and for centuries after, courage was most easily displayed on the battlefield, though it could be displayed in the sociopolitical realm as well. It is not only what we term today as “analytical intelligence” but more along the lines of Dr. Sternberg’s “Successful Intelligence” – a synthesis of 3 components: analytical, creative, and practical. You can see here that, today, the nonachiever is rewarded for nonachievement and the achiever punished for achieving. Aristocracy is … Liberality with wealth and possessions, 4. A temperate man would seek out certain virtues and values in a lover, the self-indulgent man would seek out anything that walks on two legs. Download the report and get our free monthly health and performance research update. In ancient Greece, arete meant “goodness” or “excellence”. Defining the “Self-Indulgent” man, Aristotle states that he “craves for all pleasant things or those that are most pleasant, and is led by his appetite to choose these at the cost of everything else.”[iv]  Today a temperate man would have a few drinks among friends, a self-indulgent man would be a bingeing drunkard. The next predominant school of thought in normative ethics is consequentialism. Aristotle's Virtue Ethics He started on the assumption that everyone wants a full and happy life (known as eudemonia) This involved being both happy and living well, you have to deserve it … To let such a primitive form of thought as emotions gain control of a situation would have been a display of depraved weakness. The Greeks also idolized a quick mind, but not if it was inapplicable to the realm of reality. … Feeds: Posts Comments « Thought leaders and their role. Arête - excellence or virtue Virtue ethics teaches that the very character of a person can be virtuous. The life of St. Francis is instructive: sleeping with a rock for a pillow, drinking laundry water and covering his food with ashes to avoid any pleasurable taste, and plunging himself in the snow any time he had a sexual desire. n. 1. a. If fun and sport had played any real part they would be there in some form for us to see. In He argues that virtue is a "perceptual capacity" to identify how one ought to act, and that all particular virtues are merely "specialized sensitivities" to a range of reasons for acting.[15]. Character Strengths and Virtues (CSV) is a book by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman (2004) listing virtues in a modern, empirical, and rigorously scientific manner. For human beings, and for no other living entity, values are chosen. The Greek idea of the virtues was passed on in Roman philosophy through Cicero and later incorporated into Christian moral theology by St. Ambrose of Milan. [9][10][11] Virtue ethics refers to a collection of normative ethical philosophies that place an emphasis on being rather than doing. Now that you know what the concept describes, it is time to focus on how areté might be attained. Privacy Policy. If you had this, it indicated the presence of all the others. Virtue ethics (or aretaic ethics[1] /ˌærəˈteɪ.ɪk/, from Greek ἀρετή (arete)) are normative ethical theories which emphasize virtues of mind, character and sense of honesty. Wayne Rooney Pg. The mind is that which reasons, and the body is that which acts, based on that reason. Looking for Arete (virtue)? You can think of these as their basis for rational, happy living. The aretaic turn also exists in American constitutional theory, where proponents argue for an emphasis on virtue and vice of constitutional adjudicators. Enter your email and stay on top of things! Their formula for a proper education began with philosophy and gymnastics. There are also difficulties in identifying what is the "virtuous" action to take in all circumstances, and how to define a virtue. Happiness was to be obtained by right living – by holding to the virtues. The Greeks held these virtues in order to attain four main values. Aristotle identifies approximately eighteen virtues that enable a person to perform their human function well. Possessing these virtues is what makes one moral, and one's actions are a mere reflection of one's inner morality. The word “chosen” is crucially important. In the first installment of Areté, we discussed this concept’s origin in the ancient civilization of Greece, and its meaning: metaphysical excellence. A result of intrinsic virtues are made up arete virtue ethics 28 measurable `` character excellence or! Term from Homeric times onwards is not virtuous is unvirtuous outstanding article is by Richard Jacobs Villanova! 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