On Virtue Ethics [Book Review]

Journal of Applied Philosophy 18 (1):94-97 (2001)
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The emergence of virtue ethics as a third type of moral theory to rival Utilitarianism and Kantianism is one of the most significant recent developments in moral philosophy in the English-speaking world. Yet despite the vast amount of work in this field over the last three decades there is still something unsatisfactory about virtue theory as exemplified in the contemporary literature. For one thing, as Rosalind Hursthouse points out, there have been scarcely any books 'which explore virtue ethics systematically and at length' (p. 5), almost all contemporary work having been in the form of articles which often stress the tentative and exploratory nature of their authors' investigations. Virtue ethics is still, as it were, in its adolescence, relatively unformed and without character. Hursthouse believes it is time for virtue ethics to 'grow up', and intends On Virtue Ethics as a contribution to this process.



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