The Self-Centeredness Objection to Virtue Ethics

Abstract
As virtue ethics has developed into maturity, it has also met with a number of objections. This essay focuses on the self-centeredness objection: since virtue ethics recommends that we be concerned with our own virtues or virtuous characters, it is self-centered. In response, I first argue that, for Zhu Xi’s neo-Confucianism, the character that a virtuous person is concerned with consists largely in precisely those virtues that incline him or her to be concerned with the good of others. While such an answer is also available to the Aristotelian virtue ethics, I argue that Zhu Xi’s neo-Confucianism can better respond to the objection on two deeper levels: (1) a virtuous person is not only concerned with others’ external well-being but also their virtuous characters, and (2) a virtuous person’s concern with others’ wellbeing, both internal and external, is neither self-indulgent nor self-effacing
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Citations of this work BETA
Anne Baril (2013). The Role of Welfare in Eudaimonism. Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):511-535.
Stephen C. Angle (2013). Reply to Critics. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 12 (3):381-388.
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