Four Solutions to the Alleged Incompleteness of Virtue Ethics

Abstract
In "Virtue and Right" Robert Johnson argues that virtue ethics that accept standards such as Virtuous Agent (A's x-ing is right in circumstances c iff a fully virtuous agent would x in c) are incomplete, since they cannot account for duties of moral self-improvement. This paper offers four solutions to the problem of incompleteness: the first discards Virtuous Agent and counts actions as wrong iff a vicious person would perform them; the second retains Virtuous Agent but counts self-improving actions as countererogatory: wrong but nonetheless good to do; the third replaces Virtuous Agent with a standard appealing to the Mengzian virtue of righteousness, understood as situational appropriateness; the fourth replaces Virtuous Agent with a standard that holds an action right if it promotes the agent's virtue. Each solution accommodates duties of moral self-improvement, so a virtue ethics embracing any of them would not be incomplete.
Keywords Virtue  Robert Johnson  Valerie Tiberius  Judith Jarvis Thomson  Julia Driver  Christine Swanton  Mengzi (Mencius)  Countererogation  Aristotle
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