Virtue theory and ideal observers

Philosophical Studies 109 (3):197 - 222 (2002)
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Abstract

Virtue theorists in ethics often embrace the following characterizationof right action: An action is right iff a virtuous agent would performthat action in like circumstances. Zagzebski offers a parallel virtue-basedaccount of epistemically justified belief. Such proposals are severely flawedbecause virtuous agents in adverse circumstances, or through lack ofknowledge can perform poorly. I propose an alternative virtue-based accountaccording to which an action is right (a belief is justified) for an agentin a given situation iff an unimpaired, fully-informed virtuous observerwould deem the action to be right (the belief to be justified).

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Jason Kawall
Colgate University

Citations of this work

Virtue theory, ideal observers, and the supererogatory.Jason Kawall - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 146 (2):179-96.
On the Moral Epistemology of Ideal Observer Theories.Jason Kawall - 2006 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (3):359-374.
Virtue Ethics and the Search for an Account of Right Action.Frans Svensson - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (3):255-271.
The epistemic demands of environmental virtue.Jason Kawall - 2009 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (1-2):109-28.

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References found in this work

Ethical absolutism and the ideal observer.Roderick Firth - 1951 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 12 (3):317-345.
Virtue Theory and Abortion.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1991 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 20 (3):223-246.
Virtue Theory and Abortion.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1997 - In Roger Crisp & Michael Slote (eds.), Virtue Ethics. Oxford University Press.
On Some Vices of Virtue Ethics.Robert Louden - 1984 - American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (3):227 - 236.
The Internalist Conception of Justification.Alvin Goldman - 1980 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 5 (1):27-51.

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