Virtue ethics is self-effacing

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):221 – 231 (2007)

Authors
Simon Keller
Victoria University of Wellington
Abstract
An ethical theory is self-effacing if it tells us that sometimes, we should not be motivated by the considerations that justify our acts. In his influential paper 'The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theories' [1976], Michael Stocker argues that consequentialist and deontological ethical theories must be self-effacing, if they are to be at all plausible. Stocker's argument is often taken to provide a reason to give up consequentialism and deontology in favour of virtue ethics. I argue that this assessment is a mistake. Virtue ethics is self-effacing in just the same way as are the theories that Stocker attacks. Or, at the very least: if there is a way for virtue ethics to avoid self-effacement then there are ways for its rivals to avoid self-effacement too. Therefore, considerations of self-effacement provide no reason to prefer virtue ethics to its major rivals.
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DOI 10.1080/00048400701343010
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Games and the Art of Agency.C. Thi Nguyen - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (4):423-462.
Is Virtue Ethics Self-Effacing?Glen Pettigrove - 2011 - The Journal of Ethics 15 (3):191-207.
Schizophrenia and the Virtues of Self-Effacement.Paul Barry - 2016 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 11 (1):29-48.
Is Virtue Ethics Self-Effacing?Joel A. Martinez - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):277-288.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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Is Virtue Ethics Self-Effacing?Glen Pettigrove - 2011 - The Journal of Ethics 15 (3):191-207.
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