Virtue theory and ideal observers

Philosophical Studies 109 (3):197 - 222 (2002)
Virtue theorists in ethics often embrace the following characterizationof right action: An action is right iff a virtuous agent would performthat action in like circumstances. Zagzebski offers a parallel virtue-basedaccount of epistemically justified belief. Such proposals are severely flawedbecause virtuous agents in adverse circumstances, or through lack ofknowledge can perform poorly. I propose an alternative virtue-based accountaccording to which an action is right (a belief is justified) for an agentin a given situation iff an unimpaired, fully-informed virtuous observerwould deem the action to be right (the belief to be justified).
Keywords virtue  virtue ethics  Hursthouse  Zagzebski  ideal observer  right action
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DOI 10.2307/4321275
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Daniel Doviak (2011). A New Form of Agent-Based Virtue Ethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (3):259-272.
Jason Kawall (2010). The Epistemic Demands of Environmental Virtue. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (1-2):109-28.
Jason Kawall (2006). On the Moral Epistemology of Ideal Observer Theories. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (3):359 - 374.

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