Virtues for the Imperfect

Journal of Value Inquiry 1:1-21 (2018)
Authors
Ulf Hlobil
Concordia University
Katharina Nieswandt
Concordia University
Abstract
We suggest a new neo-Aristotelian account of right action: An action A is right for an agent S in a situation C just in case it is possible for A in C to result from a good practical inference. A practical inference is good if people must have a disposition to make such practical inferences where a society is to flourish. One advantage of this account is that it applies to non-ideal agents. It thus blocks the right-but-not-virtuous objection to virtue ethics. Our account furthermore suggests a new way of thinking about the concept of a fully virtuous agent. Ideal agents, we argue, necessarily have certain unmanifested dispositions, and failure is a real possibility for them.
Keywords virtue ethics  right action  practical inference  flourishing  Philippa Foot
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1007/s10790-018-9676-3
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