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c163 Week 4 Lecture 7

by: bita.arabian

c163 Week 4 Lecture 7 Crm/Law C163


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Virtue Ethics
Ethics and Politics of Justice
Geoff Ward
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by bita.arabian on Sunday May 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Crm/Law C163 at University of California - Irvine taught by Geoff Ward in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Ethics and Politics of Justice in Criminology and Criminal Justice at University of California - Irvine.

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Date Created: 05/15/16
C163 Virtue Ethics Week 4 Lecture 7  Ethics – critically asses your actions and what you do  Ethical dilemma  Two primary schools of ethics  Utilitarianism – most pleasure for the most amount of people; good outweighs the bad  Deontology – you do the right thing because it is the right thing to do regardless of the consequences or what happens Ethical Theory: Three frameworks  Consequentialism: doctrine that the morality of an action is to be judged solely by its consequences  Deontology: the study of moral obligations; ethical theory concerned with duties  Virtue Ethics: doctrine that focuses on who we should BE, rather than what we should DO; instead of focusing on action we should think of what kind of person do we want to be; character based Two Questions -- answered by all three frameworks  What do we do?  Why do we do it?  (Ex consequentialist: what should we do and why should we do it?) Virtue Ethics  Defined: View that morality amounts to being a certain type f person, embodying certain types of characters (virtues) while avoiding or eliminating others (vices)  Concerned especially with:  The people we must become to live the good life; maximizing your happiness; different things make people happy so your own happiness may hurt other people  Displaying charitable or benevolent character  Displaying wisdom/judgment that cannot be expressed in absolute rules  The social dimensions of human life and the relative importance of the community over the individual Virtue as Character  In contrast to deontological and consequentialist approaches, virtue ethics does not attempt to furnish fundamental principles telling us what to do and how to act ethically  The focus of virtue ethics is on character; asking, “What kind of person should I be?”  Considered a “third way” of approaching ethical questions and dilemmas. Some hold that ethics offers a more concrete, and a realistic way Virtue  What are virtues?  Personal qualities or traits of character, shown through habitual action, that make us persons of excellent character; a person can possess good qualities but still not be a “good person” overall, if these aren’t habitually expressed  Moral virtues: traits of character that dispose a person to act in a moral fashion  Moral vices: traits of character that dispose a person to act in an indifferent or harmful fashion Aristotle  His virtues: Benevolence (be good to people) & Industriousness (work hard) The Problem with Virtues  Courage isn’t always good  Loyalty isn’t always good Key to Aristotelian Theory  The Golden Mean: Rule that in situations where we have to make practical decisions, we can see that there are two extremes and a mean or average between them. Our challenge is to find that (golden) mean, and this enables us to show virtuous character act rightly and flourish  Practical wisdom: entails insight, perception and reflection. People with practical wisdom are those able to effectively deliberate about what is good for their and other lives ass a whole, as opposed to what may just be expedient, and thus to take right actions  Happiness as the active expression of moral character: virtuous character gives rise to good intentions which lead to right actions which produce good consequences. Kung Tzu (Confucius) Moral Will + Moral Skill  The problem with rules Virtuous Activity & Great Happiness  Aristotle regards happiness as the good to which all human action aims  He argues that “flourishing” arises out of virtuous activity: o When we develop as we ought, we live well, thrive, and flourish, and when we do not, we suffer and decay  As such, it is active development and expression of virtuous character that leads to moral living (ex: goodness) and thus individual and collective happiness


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