Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (3):324 – 339 (2003)

Ramon Das
Victoria University of Wellington
In this paper I evaluate some recent virtue-ethical accounts of right action [Hursthouse 1999; Slote 2001; Swanton 2001]. I argue that all are vulnerable to what I call the insularity objection : evaluating action requires attention to worldly consequences external to the agent, whereas virtue ethics is primarily concerned with evaluating an agent's inner states. More specifically, I argue that insofar as these accounts are successful in meeting the insularity objection they invite the circularity objection : they end up relying upon putatively virtue-ethical considerations that themselves depend on unexplained judgments of rightness. Such accounts thus face a dilemma that is characteristic of virtue-ethical accounts of right action. They avoid the insularity objection only at the cost of inviting the circularity objection: they become intuitively plausible roughly to the extent that they lose their distinctively virtue-ethical character.
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DOI 10.1080/713659702
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References found in this work BETA

On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
Morals From Motives.Michael A. Slote - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
From Morality to Virtue.Michael Slote - 1992 - Oxford University Press.
Morals From Motives.Michael Slote - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):415-418.
On Some Vices of Virtue Ethics.Robert Louden - 1984 - American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (3):227 - 236.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Possibility of Virtue.Miguel Alzola - 2012 - Business Ethics Quarterly 22 (2):377-404.
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Rightness as Fairness.Marcus Arvan - 2016 - In Rightness as Fairness: A Moral and Political Theory. New York, USA: Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 153-201.
Virtue Ethics and the Search for an Account of Right Action.Frans Svensson - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (3):255-271.
Agent-Based Virtue Ethics and the Problem of Action Guidance.Liezl van Zyl - 2009 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (1):50-69.

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