Virtue Ethics and the Problem of Indirection: A Pluralistic Value-Centred Approach: Christine Swanton

Utilitas 9 (2):167-181 (1997)

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Abstract
Many forms of virtue ethics, like certain forms of utilitarianism, suffer from the problem of indirection. In those forms, the criterion for status of a trait as a virtue is not the same as the criterion for the status of an act as right. Furthermore, if the virtues for example are meant to promote the nourishing of the agent, the virtuous agent is not standardly supposed to be motivated by concern for her own flourishing in her activity. In this paper, I propose a virtue ethics which does not suffer from the problem. Traits are not virtues because their cultivation and manifestation promote a value such as agent flourishing. They are virtues in so far as they are habits of appropriate response to various relevant values. This means that there is a direct connection between the rationale of a virtue and what makes an action virtuous or right.
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DOI 10.1017/S0953820800005264
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Is Virtue Ethics Self-Effacing?Glen Pettigrove - 2011 - The Journal of Ethics 15 (3):191-207.
The Value of the Virtues.Michael Sean Brady - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 125 (1):85-113.
The Three Faces of Flourishing.Thomas Hurka - 1999 - Social Philosophy and Policy 16 (1):44.

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