Virtue Ethics and Elitism

Philosophical Papers 37 (1):131-155 (2008)
Because of its reliance on a basically Aristotelian conception of virtue, contemporary virtue ethics is often criticised for being inherently elitist. I argue that this objection is mistaken. The core of my argument is that we need to take seriously that virtue, according to Aristotle, is something that we acquire gradually, via a developmental process. People are not just stuck with their characters once and for all, but can always aspire to become better (more virtuous). And that is plausibly the basic normative requirement of virtue ethics. Philosophical Papers Vol. 37 (1) 2008: pp. 131-155
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Julia Annas (2004). Being Virtuous and Doing the Right Thing. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 78 (2):61 - 75.

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