Virtue Ethics

Edited by Jason Kawall (Colgate University)
About this topic
Key works The essential work inspiring much of the virtue ethics tradition is Aristotle & Ostwald 1962.  Many consider David Hume 1751 and Adam Smith 1759) to provide important, sentimentalist virtue ethics in the early modern period.  Contemporary interest in virtue ethics is often traced to Elizabeth Anscombe's [Anscombe 1958: Modern Moral Philosophy 1958.  In the following decades key contemporary works appeared including Foot 1978, Pincoffs 1971, w#, Hursthouse, Slote, Swanton
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  1. The Transition Within Virtue Ethics in the Context of Benevolence.Prasasti Pandit - 2022 - Philosophia (Philippines) 23 (1):135-151.
    This paper explores the value of benevolence as a cardinal virtue by analyzing the evolving history of virtue ethics from ancient Greek tradition to emotivism and contemporary thoughts. First, I would like to start with a brief idea of virtue ethics. Greek virtue theorists recognize four qualities of moral character, namely, wisdom, temperance, courage, and justice. Christianity recognizes unconditional love as the essence of its theology. Here I will analyze the transition within the doctrine of virtue ethics in the Christian (...)
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  2. COVID-19 Calls for Virtue Ethics.Francesca Bellazzi & Konrad V. Boyneburgk - 2020 - Journal of Law and the Biosciences 7 (1).
    The global spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has led to the imposition of severely restrictive measures by governments in the Western hemisphere. We feel a contrast between these measures and our freedom. This contrast, we argue, is a false perception. It only appears to us because we look at the issue through our contemporary moral philosophy of utilitarianism and an understanding of freedom as absence of constraints. Both these views can be (...)
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  3. Confucian Virtue Ethics and Ethical Leadership in Modern China.Li Yuan, Robert Chia & Jonathan Gosling - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics:1-15.
    Research on ethical leadership in organizations has been largely based on Western philosophical traditions and has tended to focus on Western corporate experiences. Insights gained from such studies may however not be universally applicable in other cultural contexts. This paper examines the normative grounds for an alternative Confucian virtue-based ethics of leadership in China. As with Western corporations, organizational practices in China are profoundly shaped by their own cultural history and philosophical outlook. The ethical norms guiding both the practice and (...)
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  4. Can Virtue Ethics Bridge East and West?Nalakath A. Uvais - 2021 - Central Asian Journal of Medical Hypotheses and Ethics 2 (4):222-225.
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  5. Ethics of Computer Gaming: A Groundwork.Samuel Ulbricht - 2022 - Berlin: Springer Berlin: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Despite the increasing number of gamers worldwide, the moral classification of computer gaming marks an as yet unsolved riddle of philosophical ethics. In view of the explosive nature of the topic in everyday life (as seen in various debates about rampages), it is obvious that a differentiated professional clarification of the phenomenon is needed: Can playing computer games be immoral? -/- To answer this question, the author first discusses what we do at all when we play computer games: What kind (...)
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  6. Application of Virtue Ethics to Human Life and Death.Anna Neale - 2022 - Think 21 (60):105-108.
    This article provides a reflection on how Aristotle's virtue ethics can be applied to matters of human life and death.
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  7. Hume's Passion and Aristotle's Virtue: Ethics of Caring and Their Application to the Natural World.Catherine Butler-Ricketts - 1993 - .
  8. TOWARD A CROSS-CULTURAL VIRTUE ETHICS PARADIGM OF MEANINGFUL WORK: ARISTOTELIANISM AND BUDDHISM.Ferdinand Tablan - manuscript
  9. Body Aesthetics and the Cultivation of Moral Virtues.Yuriko Saito - 2016 - In Sherri Irvin (ed.), Body Aesthetics. Oxford University Press. pp. 225-242.
    This essay discusses how the aesthetics of body movements contributes to cultivating other-regarding moral virtues, such as respect and care. The moral and aesthetic assessment of body movements is commonly regarded as a matter of etiquette and manners, which is considered to be nothing more than a superficial convention or a means of maintaining social hierarchy. I argue instead that body movements often facilitate an aesthetic communication of social virtues. As such, body aesthetics is an indispensable ingredient of a good (...)
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  10. Opacity of Character: Virtue Ethics and the Legal Admissibility of Character Evidence.Jacob Smith & Georgi Gardiner - 2021 - Philosophical Issues 31 (1):334-354.
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  11. Thick and Perceptual Moral Beauty.Ryan P. Doran - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Which traits are beautiful? And is their beauty perceptual? It is argued that moral virtues are partly beautiful to the extent that they tend to give rise to a special emotion—ecstasy—and that compassion tends to be more beautiful than fair-mindedness because it tends to give rise to this emotion to a greater extent. It is then argued, on the basis that emotions are best thought of as a special, evaluative kind of perception, that this argument suggests that moral virtues are (...)
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  12. On Function-Centred Virtue Ethics, Character, and Becoming Eudaimon.Shannon Yu-San Tseng - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Edinburgh
    The aim of this thesis is to develop an account of virtue ethics that takes Aristotle’s naturalistic teleology to be central the understanding and reconstruction of the account’s virtue theory. I call this account Function-Centred Virtue Ethics. In chapter one, I look at some of the dissatisfactions with the then dominant theories in moral philosophy that led to the revived interest in Aristotle’s ethics that later became virtue ethics. Virtue ethics is recognised today as one of the three major approaches (...)
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  13. Learning From COVID-19: Virtue Ethics, Pandemics and Environmental Degradation: A Case Study Reading of The Andromeda Strain (1971) and Contagion. [REVIEW]Fiachra O'Brolcháin & Pat Brereton - 2021 - Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy 4:1-15.
    This paper uses virtue ethics to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak, Hollywood science-fiction/pandemic films, and the environmental crisis. We outline the ideas of hubris and nemesis and argue that responding to the COVID-19 pandemic requires that we develop virtues. We will explore these ethical issues through an eco-reading of two popular films cinematic representation of pandemics, The Andromeda Strain and Contagion. Fictional narratives are particularly adept at celebrating the moral and intellectual virtues of individuals and dramatizing the tensions inherent in human (...)
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  14. Military Virtues for Today.Peter Olsthoorn - 2021 - Ethics and Armed Forces 2021 (2):24-29.
    How can military personnel be prevented from using force unlawfully? A critical examination of typical methods and the suitability of virtue ethics for this task starts with the inadequacies of a purely rules-based approach, and the fact that many armed forces increasingly rely on character development training. The three investigated complexes also raise further questions which require serious consideration – such as about the general teachability of virtues. First, the changing roles and responsibilities of modern armed forces are used to (...)
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  15. Mark Alfano, Michael P. Lynch, and Alessandra Tanesini (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Humility[REVIEW]Derick Hughes - 2021 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 18 (6):674–677.
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  16. Cultivating Moral Attention: a Virtue-Oriented Approach to Responsible Data Science in Healthcare.Emanuele Ratti & Mark Graves - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology 34 (4):1819-1846.
    In the past few years, the ethical ramifications of AI technologies have been at the center of intense debates. Considerable attention has been devoted to understanding how a morally responsible practice of data science can be promoted and which values have to shape it. In this context, ethics and moral responsibility have been mainly conceptualized as compliance to widely shared principles. However, several scholars have highlighted the limitations of such a principled approach. Drawing from microethics and the virtue theory tradition, (...)
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  17. The Virtues of Limits.David McPherson - 2022 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Human beings seek to transcend limits. This is part of our potential greatness, since it is how we can realize what is best in our humanity. However, the limit-transcending feature of human life is also part of our potential downfall, as it can lead to dehumanization and failure to attain important human goods and to prevent human evils. Exploring the place of limits within a well-lived human life this work develops and defends an original account of limiting virtues, which are (...)
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  18. Modern Views on Virtue Ethics.Carmen Dobre, Rosalind Hursthouse, G. E. M. Anscombe, Jeremy Bentham, Aristotle, Daniel Russell, Alasdair MacIntyre & John and Mendus Susan Horton - 2021 - Sofia Philosophical Review 14 (1):72-86.
    Abstract: This paper analyzes some influential ideas in virtue ethics. Alasdair MacIntyre, in his work After Virtue, and Elizabeth Anscombe, in his controversial essay “Modern Moral Philosophy”, brought fresh ideas into moral philosophy of their time changing views on contemporary morality. They strongly influenced moral philosophers who then followed their ideas. The two philosophers criticized contemporary moral philosophies such as emotivism, utilitarianism, deontology. Elizabeth Anscombe criticized also the use of the concepts of duty and moral obligation in the absence of (...)
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  19. (Introduction) Metodo 8. 2: Positive Feelings on the Border Between Phenomenology, Psychology and Virtue Ethics.Roberta Guccinelli - 2020 - Metodo. International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy 8 (2):7-28.
    The papers collected in this issue address diferent topics at play in the contemporary debate on positive feeling and emotion by virtue of both their primary function in everyday life and their embedded structure. Within this issue, specifc attention has been given to the intertwining of positive feeling and ethical issues according to diferent approaches whose goals consist in providing a description and clarifcation of the phenomena in question. The contributions gathered here give us a clear idea of the variety (...)
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  20. (Contents) Metodo. International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy (Vol. 8 Num. 2): Positive Feelings on the Border Between Phenomenology, Psychology and Virtue Ethics.Roberta Guccinelli - 2020 - Metodo International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy 8 (2):1-231.
    The papers collected in this issue address diferent topics at play in the contemporary debate on positive feeling and emotion by virtue of both their primary function in everyday life and their embedded structure. Within this issue, specifc attention has been given to the intertwining of positive feeling and ethical issues according to diferent approaches whose goals consist in providing a description and clarifcation of the phenomena in question. The contributions gathered here give us a clear idea of the variety (...)
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  21. Gardens and the Good Life in Confucianism and Daoism.Ian James Kidd - forthcoming - In Laura D’Olimpio, Panos Paris & Aidan Thompson (eds.), Educating Character Through the Arts. London: Routledge.
    Creating and caring for a garden is a long-term project whose success requires commitment and devotion and love and proper performance of a range of activities that involve virtues and sensibilities like attentiveness, carefulness, humility, imaginativeness, and sensitivity to the natures and needs of plants and animals. In this chapter, I elaborate this conception of gardens and explore its relationship to artistic activities, like composing poetry or performing music. My focus are Confucianism and Daosim and their accounts of the relationships (...)
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  22. Specificità e pluralità della Virtue Ethics.Angelo Campodonico - 2018 - Ragion Pratica: Rivista semestrale 50:161-178..
    The article concerns the specificity of contemporary Virtue Ethics, its main problems and its main streams.
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  23. Il ruolo sintetico della saggezza pratica.Angelo Campodonico - 2018 - Acta Philosophica:56-77..
    The topic concerns the role of phronesis or practical wisdom in ethics and epistemology.
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  24. Beyond The Self: Virtue Ethics And The Problem Of Culture: Essays In Honor Of W. David Solomon. [REVIEW]Daniel John Sportiello - 2022 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 96 (1):149-152.
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  25. Towards a More Credible Principle of Beneficence.Prasasti Pandit - 2021 - Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 38 (3):407–422.
    My objective of this paper is to suggest and workout a more credible form of the Principle of Beneficence from the common essential elements of the three major ethical theories (Deontology, Utilitarianism and Virtue Ethics) that will try to overcome the over-demanding objection of Utilitarianism and the rigorism of Kant’s Deontology. After analyzing these three moral systems, I find that beneficence lies within the very essence of humanity. Human beings are superior to other creatures in the world due to rationality (...)
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  26. The Nature of Temptation and its Role in the Development of Moral Virtue.Kevin Snider - 2021 - Dissertation, Middlesex University
    In the last 70 years there has been an explosion of philosophical and theological work on the nature of virtue and the process of virtue formation. Yet philosophers and theologians have paid little attention to the phenomenon of temptation and its role in developing virtue. Indeed, little analytic work has been done on the nature of temptation. This study aims to fill this gap in moral philosophy and theology by offering an analytic moral conception of temptation and explicating its connection (...)
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  27. Naturalism, Human Flourishing, and Asian Philosophy: Owen Flanagan and Beyond. [REVIEW]L. K. Gustin Law - 2021 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2021.
  28. Radix dilectionis: asimilación, polémica y transposición de la ética clásica en Gregorio de Nisa y Agustín de Hipona.Francisco Bastitta-Harriet - 2011 - In Controversias filosóficas, científicas y teológicas en el pensamiento Tardo-Antiguo y Medieval. Rosario, Santa Fe Province, Argentina: pp. 81-91.
    In Classical Greece, the philosophical consideration of human love reaches unimagined heights in the Platonic Dialogues. Eros is described both as the uniting force of Ancient Medicine and pre-Socratic Cosmology, and as the sacred impulse towards the Beautiful and the Good, towards the perfection of the Divine. The reflection of the Greek Patristic authors assimilates this concept of love and its Peripatetic, Stoic and Neoplatonic variations, but seriously rethinks some of their implications. The Judeo-Christian view of human and divine love, (...)
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  29. The Virtue of Receptivity and Practical Rationality.Seisuke Hayakawa - 2015 - In Chienkuo Mi, Michael Slote & Ernest Sosa (eds.), Moral and Intellectual Virtues in Western and Chinese Philosophy: The Turn toward Virtue. New York: Routledge. pp. 235-251.
    In this chapter, I attempt to provide a richer account of reflective agency than standard theorists do, by focusing on the deep connection between the role of empathic receptivity and that of reflection. In From Enlightenment to Receptivity, Michael Slote innovatively introduces the idea of receptivity as a virtue into the domains of epistemology and ethics, and argues that the virtue of receptivity plays a crucial role in the realization of a good life (2013). In contrast, I incorporate receptivity as (...)
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  30. Solving the Puzzle of Partiality.Sungwoo Um - 2021 - Journal of Social Philosophy 52 (3):362-376.
    Journal of Social Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  31. Specifying Contractualism: How to Reason About What We Owe to Each Other.Ken Oshitani - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-18.
    Moral contractualism holds that addressing our minds to the morality of right and wrong involves identifying principles for the mutual regulation of behavior that could be the object of reasonable agreement among persons if they were appropriately motivated and fully informed. A common criticism of the theory is that the test of reasonable agreement it endorses is indeterminate. To be more specific, it is claimed that the notion of reasonableness is too vague or ill-defined to be of use in guiding (...)
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  32. Nancy E. Snow (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Virtue. [REVIEW]Matt Dougherty - 2021 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 18:562-565.
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  33. Jennifer Cole Wright (Ed.), Humility. [REVIEW]Cathy Mason - 2021 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 18:550-553.
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  34. The Defective Character Solution to the Non-Identity Problem.Ben Bramble - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (9):504-520.
    The non-identity problem is that some actions seem morally wrong even though, by affecting future people’s identities, they are worse for nobody. In this paper, I further develop and defend a lesser-known solution to the problem, one according to which when such actions are wrong, it is not because of what they do or produce, but rather just because of why they were performed. In particular, I argue that the actions in non-identity cases are wrong just when and because they (...)
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  35. Philosophy at the Gym.Erik Kenyon - manuscript
    Ethical philosophy was born in the gyms of Athens. This book returns a body of abstract thought to its original context, to understand how training for the body sparked training for the mind. We will use archaeology to reconstruct the reality of ancient athletics and literary texts to critique philosophers’ idealized versions of this reality. We will explore a cluster of questions about the nature of happiness (eudaimonia), the role of human excellence (arete) in this life and what forms of (...)
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  36. Charlie Kurth, The Anxious Mind: An Investigation Into the Varieties and Virtues of Anxiety. [REVIEW]Daniel Kelly - 2021 - Ethics 132 (1):249-255.
    Kurth wants us to understand and appreciate our anxiety more than we typically do. His concise and crisply written monograph makes a good case that we should. It deepens our understanding of what anxiety is, and of how it animates different facets of our mental and moral lives. The case he builds that, roughly, anxiety is one of the brain’s ways of affectively signaling and responding to uncertainty is clearly argued and meticulously organized. Kurth hits the targets he sets for (...)
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  37. The Doing of Justice and the Priority of Acting From Virtue.Patricio A. Fernandez - forthcoming - Phronesis.
    Aristotle famously distinguishes between merely doing a virtuous action and acting in the way in which a virtuous person would. Against an interpretation prominent in recent scholarship, I argue that ‘acting virtuously,’ in the sense of exercising a virtue actually possessed, is prior to ‘virtuous action,’ understood generically. I propose that the latter notion is best understood as a derivative abstraction from the former, building upon a reading of a neglected distinction between per se and coincidentally just action in Nicomachean (...)
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  38. Imaginative virtue ethics: A transportation-transcendental approach.Surendra Arjoon & Meena Rambocas - forthcoming - International Journal of Ethics Education:1-17.
    Several authors have argued that virtue ethics needs to adopt a more realistic moral psychology in proposing a more effective way for teaching and learning. In response to this appeal, our paper explores the development of an Imaginative Virtue Ethics Transportation-Transcendental Experiential Approach based on the Aristotelian-Thomistic Mind–Body Theory. It also appears that many educators who use an Aristotelian-Thomistic virtue ethics as a teaching and learning platform may be unaware of the theoretical underpinnings especially with regards to the understanding of (...)
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  39. Virtue Ethics as Political Philosophy: The Structure of Ethical Theory in Early Chinese Philosophy.Yang Xiao - 2015 - In Michael Slote & Lorraine Besser-Jones (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Virtue Ethics. Routledge. pp. 471-489.
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  40. Wollstonecraft’s Feminist Virtue Ethics: Friendship and the Good Society.Justin P. Holt - 2021 - Academia Letters 717 (717):1-6.
    This paper will show that Mary Wollstonecraft developed a modern feminist version of virtue ethics. Virtue ethics is an all-encompassing moral theory which holds that the best life for individuals is commensurate with a good society. Simply, self-interest and our public duties are argued as identical and not at odds when we realize what is truly good for ourselves and for others. In the Western philosophic cannon, the most common version of virtue ethics is Aristotle’s, with the Nicomachean Ethics as (...)
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  41. Book Review: Rebecca DeYoung - Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies. [REVIEW]Ian James Kidd - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy.
    A review of Rebecca DeYoung's book, "Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies", 2nd ed.
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  42. Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Protestantism.David S. Sytsma - 2021 - Academia Letters 1650:1-8.
    This is a brief introduction to the origin and development of Protestant ethical works in the tradition of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.
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  43. Narratives of Hope: A Philosophical Study of Moral Conversion.Alfredo Mac Laughlin - 2008 - Dissertation, Loyola University, Chicago
    This work explores the philosophical implications of moral conversion: the fact that, at some point in their lives, people may change their deep-seated convictions, attitudes and patterns of action regarding moral matters in rather unexpected and surprising ways. The fact of moral conversion and the common characteristics of the process are established through the analysis of a compilation of stories of moral conversion from various sources and settings. This analysis yields the definition of conversion as an “existential change” in the (...)
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  44. Eric J. Silverman, The Supremacy of Love: An Agape-Centered Vision of Aristotelian Virtue Ethics, (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2019), 165 pages. ISBN: 978-1-7936-0883-3. Hardback: $90.00. [REVIEW]David J. Rodriguez - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-6.
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  45. A Moral Defense of Prostitution.Rob Lovering - 2021 - New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Is prostitution immoral? In this book, Rob Lovering argues that it is not. Offering a careful and thorough critique of the many―twenty, to be exact―arguments for prostitution's immorality, Lovering leaves no claim unchallenged. Drawing on the relevant literature along with his own creative thinking, Lovering offers a clear and reasoned moral defense of the world's oldest profession. Lovering demonstrates convincingly, on both consequentialist and nonconsequentialist grounds, that there is nothing immoral about prostitution between consenting adults. The legal implications of this (...)
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  46. Virtue Ethics and Particularism.Constantine Sandis - 2021 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 95 (1):205-232.
    Moral particularism is often conceived as the view that there are no moral principles. However, its most fêted accounts focus almost exclusively on rules regarding actions and their features. Such action-centred particularism is, I argue, compatible with generalism at the level of character traits. The resulting view is a form of particularist virtue ethics. This endorses directives of the form ‘Be X’ but rejects any implication that the relevant X-ness must therefore always count in favour of an action.
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  47. Practical Structure and Moral Skill.Joshua Shepherd - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    I argue that moral skill is limited and precarious. It is limited because global moral skill – the capacity for morally excellent behavior within an über action domain, such as the domain of living, or of all-things-considered decisions, or the same kind of capacity applied across a superset of more specific action domains – is not to be found in humans. It is precarious because relatively local moral skill, while possible, is prone to misfire. My arguments depend upon the diversity (...)
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  48. Environmental Virtue Ethics and the Sources of Normativity.Michał Piekarski - 2020 - Studia Ecologiae Et Bioethicae 18 (3).
    This article is an attempt to identify the sources of normativity in virtue ethics. The starting point for the analyzes presented here is the book by Dominika Dzwonkowska Environmental virtue ethics. In § 1, I present the basic theses and assumptions of this approach to ethics. Then, with reference to the concept of the moral subject proposed by Dzwonkowska, I ask whether it constitutes the primary source of normativity. I argue that environmental virtue ethics can be ascribed to arguments shared (...)
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  49. Ressentiment.Andrew Huddleston - 2021 - Ethics 131 (4):670-696.
    Nietzsche famously discusses a psychological condition he calls ressentiment, a condition involving toxic, vengeful anger. I offer a free-standing theory in philosophical psychology of the familiar...
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  50. Nietzsche’s Compassion.Vasfi O. Özen - 2021 - Nietzsche-Studien 50 (1):244-274.
    Nietzsche is known for his penetrating critique of Mitleid. He seems to be critical of all compassion but at times also seems to praise a different form of compassion, which he refers to as “our compassion” and contrasts it with “your compassion”. Some commentators have interpreted this to mean that Nietzsche’s criticism is not as unconditional as it may seem – that he does not condemn compassion entirely. I disagree and contend that even though Nietzsche appears to speak favorably of (...)
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