Rightness and Goodness in Agent-based Virtue Ethics

In Morals from Motives (2001) Michael Slote puts forward an agent-based virtue ethics that purports to derive an account of deontic terms from aretaic evaluations of motives or character traits. In this view, an action is right if and only if it proceeds from a good or virtuous motive or at least does not come from a bad motive, and wrong if it comes from a bad motive. I argue that Slote does not provide an account of right action at all, that is, if ‘right action’ is understood in the strict deontic sense of an act that is either permissible or obligatory. An examination of Slote’s treatment of the problem of moral luck shows that he presupposes a conceptual link between what is morally wrong and what is blameworthy. I conclude by suggesting that agent-based virtue ethics may do better as an attempt to eliminate deontic notions altogether.
Keywords Agent-based virtue ethics  Right action  Goodness  Moral luck
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/jpr_2011_3
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Robert B. Louden (1984). On Some Vices of Virtue Ethics. American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (3):227 - 236.
Nafsika Athanassoulis (2005). Common-Sense Virtue Ethics and Moral Luck. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (3):265 - 276.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Daniel Doviak (2011). A New Form of Agent-Based Virtue Ethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (3):259-272.
Liezl van Zyl (2011). Right Action and the Non-Virtuous Agent. Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (1):80-92.
R. Das (2003). Virtue Ethics and Right Action. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (3):324 – 339.
Michael Slote (1999). Moral Theories and Virtue Ethics. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 1:51-57.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

37 ( #89,182 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #118,705 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.