Authors
Liezl Van Zyl
University of Waikato
Abstract
In Morals from Motives (2001) Michael Slote puts forward an agent-based virtue ethics that purports to derive an account of deontic terms from aretaic evaluations of motives or character traits. In this view, an action is right if and only if it proceeds from a good or virtuous motive or at least does not come from a bad motive, and wrong if it comes from a bad motive. I argue that Slote does not provide an account of right action at all, that is, if ‘right action’ is understood in the strict deontic sense of an act that is either permissible or obligatory. An examination of Slote’s treatment of the problem of moral luck shows that he presupposes a conceptual link between what is morally wrong and what is blameworthy. I conclude by suggesting that agent-based virtue ethics may do better as an attempt to eliminate deontic notions altogether.
Keywords Agent-based virtue ethics  Right action  Goodness  Moral luck
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ISBN(s) 1053-8364
DOI 10.5840/jpr_2011_3
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References found in this work BETA

Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.
On Some Vices of Virtue Ethics.Robert Louden - 1984 - American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (3):227 - 236.
Against Agent-Based Virtue Ethics.Michael S. Brady - 2004 - Philosophical Papers 33 (1):1-10.
Common-Sense Virtue Ethics and Moral Luck.Nafsika Athanassoulis - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (3):265-276.

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