Against Agent-Based Virtue Ethics

Philosophical Papers 33 (1):1-10 (2004)
Abstract Agent-based virtue ethics is a unitary normative theory according to which the moral status of actions is entirely dependent upon the moral status of an agent's motives and character traits. One of the problems any such approach faces is to capture the common-sense distinction between an agent's doing the right thing, and her doing it for the right (or wrong) reason. In this paper I argue that agent-based virtue ethics ultimately fails to capture this kind of fine-grained distinction, and to this extent ought to be rejected. I focus first on Michael Slote's agent-based theory, according to which the moral status of actions depends upon an agent's actual motives, and argue that this leads to a paradox. I then consider whether the ?counterfactual? version of agent-basing favoured by Rosalind Hursthouse and Linda Zagzebski fares any better, and conclude that it does not
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DOI 10.1080/05568640409485132
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Daniel Doviak (2011). A New Form of Agent-Based Virtue Ethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (3):259-272.

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Similar books and articles
Daniel Doviak (2011). A New Form of Agent-Based Virtue Ethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (3):259-272.
Michael Slote (1999). Moral Theories and Virtue Ethics. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 1:51-57.
Liezl van Zyl (2011). Right Action and the Non-Virtuous Agent. Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (1):80-92.
Michael Slote (1995). Agent-Based Virtue Ethics. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 20 (1):83-101.

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