Virtue Ethics - Philippa Foot
Virtue Ethics - Philippa Foot
Where does the benefits of virtues go to?
What is a virtue?
Must engage the will/be a pursuit. Something you are actively engaged in. Beneficial characteristics that human must have. A mean between 2 vices, deficiency + excess.
What must you desire?
To be virtuous and actively seek that out.
What are the physical things that the human needs?
Excellences of the body - strength, health
Excellences of will - charity, justice
How can you judge somebody?
By their moral intentions.
Give an example to demonstrate this?
E.g. a scoundrel is a scoundrel even if he is strong and healthy.
What do virtues relate to?
A person's inner most desires. They are our intentions and our wish to act.
What are virtues a corrective against?
Temptations of deficiency and excess.
What is virtuous?
"the will that is good in a man of virtue."
What does this quote mean?
A man may have virtuous qualities but he must have good intentions to live a good life.
What is judged?
"It is primarily by his intentions that a man's moral dispositions are judged." Performance and intention.
What may virtue require?
Performance and attitude.
What did Foot say about wisdom?
"Wisdom, as I see it, has two parts."
What is wisdom?
"Related only to good ends and to human life in general."
Who is wisdom available to?
What does the wise individual know?
"the man who is wise does not merely know how to do good things... but must also want to do them." Know what to do with their life - able to discern most moral situations.
What did Foot say about virtues being correctives?
Virtues "are corrective, each one standing at a point at which there is some temptation to be resisted or deficiency or motivation to be made good."
Why do courage and temperance exist as virtues?
"because fear and the desire for pleasure often operate as temptations"
What do virtues correct?
Virtues are a social construct that correct the negative desires of the human psyche.
What does Foot say about everything depending on?
"everything is seen to depend on what human nature is like."
What problem is posed by Foot?
Whether the difficulty in carrying out the virtuous act adds to the moral worth of the act itself. Being virtuous may be more demanding in particular situations.
What is difficult to define?
What is moral because VE looks at the heart of the individual rather than the moral situation.
What does Foot believe about duty?
You should be virtuous even if it is done out of duty.
How is Foot's Virtue Ethics similar to Aristotle?
Virtues needed for human flourishing.
Virtues exist as mean between 2 vices.
Can judge someone by moral character.
Intuitive assessment of situation.
How is Foot's Virtue Ethics different to Aristotle?
Virtues linked to your desires.
Virtues act like a conscience.
Virtues correct and help overcome temptation.
What are the strengths of Foot's Virtue Ethics?
Moral character of the individual.
Defines virtues well
Guidance on moral-decision making.
What are the weakness of Foot's Virtue Ethics?
Acts like separate part of brain, act on you.
No method of development.
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