Virtue ethics and right action

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (3):324 – 339 (2003)
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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The Possibility of Virtue.Miguel Alzola - 2012 - Business Ethics Quarterly 22 (2):377-404.
Virtue Ethics and the Search for an Account of Right Action.Frans Svensson - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (3):255-271.
A New Form of Agent-Based Virtue Ethics.Daniel Doviak - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (3):259-272.
Schizophrenia and the Virtues of Self-Effacement.Paul Barry - 2016 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 11 (1):29-48.
From Virtue to Decency.Johan Brännmark - 2006 - Metaphilosophy 37 (5):589-604.

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