The Self-Centeredness Objection to Virtue Ethics

As virtue ethics has developed into maturity, it has also met with a number of objections. This essay focuses on the self-centeredness objection: since virtue ethics recommends that we be concerned with our own virtues or virtuous characters, it is self-centered. In response, I first argue that, for Zhu Xi’s neo-Confucianism, the character that a virtuous person is concerned with consists largely in precisely those virtues that incline him or her to be concerned with the good of others. While such an answer is also available to the Aristotelian virtue ethics, I argue that Zhu Xi’s neo-Confucianism can better respond to the objection on two deeper levels: (1) a virtuous person is not only concerned with others’ external well-being but also their virtuous characters, and (2) a virtuous person’s concern with others’ wellbeing, both internal and external, is neither self-indulgent nor self-effacing
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/acpq201084449
 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: 23,674
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
Anne Baril (2013). The Role of Welfare in Eudaimonism. Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):511-535.
Stephen C. Angle (2013). Reply to Critics. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 12 (3):381-388.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Liezl van Zyl (2011). Right Action and the Non-Virtuous Agent. Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (1):80-92.
Jason Kawall (2009). In Defense of the Primacy of the Virtues. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 3 (2):1-21.
R. Das (2003). Virtue Ethics and Right Action. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (3):324 – 339.
Julia Annas (2008). The Phenomenology of Virtue. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):21-34.
Matt Stichter (2011). Virtues, Skills, and Right Action. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (1):73-86.
Matthew Stichter (2007). The Skill of Virtue. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 14 (2):39-49.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

42 ( #114,112 of 1,903,102 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #128,437 of 1,903,102 )

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.