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

Utilitas 9 (2):167-181 (1997)
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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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Citations of this work

Virtue ethics is self-effacing.Simon Keller - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):221 – 231.
Is Virtue Ethics Self-Effacing?Glen Pettigrove - 2011 - The Journal of Ethics 15 (3):191-207.

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References found in this work

Restrictive consequentialism.Philip Pettit & Geoffrey Brennan - 1986 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 64 (4):438 – 455.
The Varieties of Goodness.Philippa Foot - 1963 - Philosophical Review 74 (2):240-244.
What Is Virtue Ethics All about?Gregory Velazco Y. Trianosky - 1990 - American Philosophical Quarterly 27 (4):335 - 344.

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