The weak-willed vs. the vicious

Abstract: Virtue Ethicists typically hold that the weak-willed person is less morally culpable than the vicious person. However, I have reasons to think that this intuition is incorrect. What’s more, I think that insofar as there is an asymmetry in the moral culpability between the weak-willed and the vicious, the asymmetry works the opposite way. Moreover, I think that Virtue Ethicists should think this, too. In the following paper, I will first discuss the plausibility of the vicious agent as someone who is merely mistaken about what the good is. Then I will explain and critique two of the reasons a Virtue Ethicist might give in arguing for the claim that the weak-willed agent is less culpable than the vicious agent: (i) that the weak-willed agent has a ‘general commitment to the good’, whereas the vicious agent does not, and (ii) that it is the internal struggle or conflict within the weak-willed person that deserves merit or praise (as opposed to the vicious agent who doesn’t struggle at all). Finally, I will outline some additional reasons why the Virtue Ethicist should think that the vicious person is less culpable than the weak-willed, followed by some brief comments about the role of internalism in all of this.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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: 15,822
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

30 ( #103,674 of 1,724,745 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #167,193 of 1,724,745 )

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.