Class Note for PHIL 160 at UMass(5)
Class Note for PHIL 160 at UMass(5)
Popular in Course
Popular in Department
This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by an elite notetaker on Friday February 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to a course at University of Massachusetts taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 13 views.
Reviews for Class Note for PHIL 160 at UMass(5)
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 02/06/15
Philosophy 1600 Fall 2008 jayme johnson Handout 7 Rachels s The Elements of Moral Philosophy Chapter 12 THE ETHICS OF VIRTUE 131 The Ethics of Virtue and the Ethics of Right Action Classical Formulation Aristotle39s Nichomachean Ethics I Summary 0 quotThe moral virtues are the virtues ofpersons as suchquot 162 quotCategoricalquot Virtues I not just quothypotheticalquot virtues as leathery as mmz39mzm say I39m a bad teacher amp you just condemn my pedagogy I say I39m morally bad amp you condemn ME outright o Aristotle says quot This account of the chief human good might perhaps be given ifwe could first ascermin the function ofman For just as for a uteiplayer a sculptor or an artist and in general for all things that have a function or activity the good and the 39well39 is thought to reside in the function so would it seem to be for man if he has a function Have the carpenter then and the tanner cermin functions or activities and has man none Is he born without a function quot 1097b25 o Aristotle s Argument 1098a20 I quotThe function ofF eg ofa harpist is the same in kind as the function of an excellent F eg an excellent harpistquot I a harpist is someone who plays the harp I an excellent harpist is one who plays the harp well I quotThe same is true unconditionally in every case when we add to the function the superior achievement that expresses the virtue proper to that functionquot I the virtue ofharpists m barfzktx resides in their harp playing ability I the virtue of teachers at leathery resides in their teaching ability I the virtue of fuel pumps asfuelpumpx resides in their fuel pumping ability I The human function is to live a human life I not just to feed amp breed plants do as much I not just to eiy39oy feeding breeding etc beasts do as much I a life subject to rational oversight I Subordinates the question of right conduct to the question of good character 0 Good character I having certain human excellences or virtues we naturally admire in others and wish for in ourselves I Examples courage wisdom generosity friendliness honesty 0 Good conduct doing the sort of things that I spring from virtues in those that already have them I inculcate and perfect the virtues in those who yet aspire I Good deeds are just the sorts of deeds that good rational amp admirable people do Legalistic Morality Contrast Good conduct obedience to moral law 0 God given Divine Command 0 As dictated by Utility Rule Utilitarianism 0 As dictated by pure reason Kant 0 As part of the social contract SCT I Virtue or good character propensity to follow these rules Good people are the sort ofpeople who do good lawful deeds Contrast o Virtue ethics I begins with a conception of the good person I defines good conduct as the sort of conduct that I people who are that way go in for I and that makes people that way I rules just rough generalizations I about what sorts of things good folks do under various circumstances I quotamong statements about conduct those which are particular are more genuine since conduct has to do with individual cases and our statements must harmonize with the facts in these casesquot 1107a28 o Legalistic ethics I begins with rules I defines good conduct as that which accords with the rules I defines good persons as those who conduct themselves accordingly Should We Return to the Ethics of Virtue Anscombe39s complaint I legalistic ethics rest on the incoherent notion ofa quotlawquot without a lawgiver DCT unaccepmble I and the alternative sources ofmoral quotlegislationquot are inadequate substitutes 132 The Virtues What Is a Virtue I they are traits of character I expressed by habitual patterns ofbehavior 0 same patterns ofbehavior through which they are acquired I that are good bad for people 515 MM to have 0 traits we take to be desirable undesirable or admirable shameful for people as such 0 virtue of anything consists in performing or having the capacity for performing its proper task well I eg virtues of cars reliability handling braking acceleration o c Proper function of humans as such I virtues of cat burglars stealth agility fearless ofheights skillful at lock picking I Aristotle I vegemtive fulfillment health amp reproduction I animal fulfillment pleasure amp sensation amp travel I personal fulfillment I thought I artistic creativity I self direction moderation amp self control I Freud to love amp work What Are the Virtues To name a few Trustworthiness Kindness Cleanliness Loyalty Obedience Reverence Helpfulness Cheerfulness Humor Friendliness Thrift Social aptness Courteousness Courage Strength ofWill What Do These Virtues Consist In I Aristotle o a Virtue is quotthe mean by reference to two vices the one of excess and the other of deficiencyquot quotto feel and do things at the right times with reference to the right objects towards the right people with the right motive and in the right way is what is both intermediate and best and this is characteristic ofvirtuequot I Examples 0 Cowardice 7 Courage 7 Rashness facing dangers for at the right place at the right time for the right purposes I Geach v Rachels issue about courage were any Nazi39s or 911 bombers have I Geach amp Aristotle 7 no it39s not for quotthe right purposesquot I Rachels jex o Stinginess 7 Generosity 7 Wastefulness sharing ofgoods o Dishonesty 7 Honesty 7 Tactlessness telling the truth I Geach v Rachels concerning lies I Geach an honest person never lies 77 but he approves ofAthanasius39 deception I Rachels an honest person never lies except quotin rare circumstancesquot for quotcompelling reasonsquot 179 I Discussion o Is Loyalty to family and friends a Virtue Bringing the notion ofimpartiality back into question Why Are the Virtues Important I Aristotle the cultivation and exercise of the virtues is selfeactualizing W truly quotvirtue is its own rewardquot o Virtues are characteristics that make for human fulfillment a well rounded amp happy life 0 for psychological health amp mental balance psychological selfeactualization Are the Virtues the Same for Everyone 0 Discussion 0 Why isn t virtue ethics just a kind of relativism 123 Advantages of Virtue Ethics 1 Correct Account of moral motivation I the case of Smith the dutiful hospital visitor I the problem ofmoral schizophrenia 2 Makes room for partiality I return to the question ofwhether loyalty and friendship are virtues I one is allowed W even required W to show partiality for family friends etc I to the right right persons in the right circumsmnces to an appropriate degree etc 3 Speaks to feminist concerns about masculine bias I restores focus on the personal amp private on individual ties to particular people I not just the impersonal and public on humanity amp society 4 Explains centrality of Moral Heroes in almost Every Ethical Tradition I Jesus amp the saints WWJD I MohaInmed I Moses and the prophets I Buddha amp the Bodhisattvas I Heroes of Old in Greek amp other traditional lores The Problem of Incompleteness I Gives us no formula for deciding conflict cases 0 Eg between friendship amp justice case of the rapist buddy o Eg between filial piety amp patriotism Sartre39s case 0 Eg between truthfulness amp prevention of suffering Gestapo questioning case I Reply ethics is like that 0 Conflict cases cause trouble for other theories as well eg Kant39s 0 life as art a creative adventure no rules for artistic creativity
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'