The Practicality of Ancient Virtue Ethics: Greece and China

Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 9 (3):289-302 (2010)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Virtue ethics has been charged with being unable to provide solutions to practical moral issues. In response, the defenders of virtue ethics argue that normative virtue ethics exists. The debate is significant on its own, yet both sides of the controversy approach the issue from the assumption that moral philosophy has to tell us what we should do. In this essay, I would like to examine the question regarding the practicality of virtue ethics in a different way. Virtue ethics is an ancient approach shared by both ancient Greek philosophers and classic Chinese Confucians, and indeed, ancient Greeks call ethics practical science. How, then, do the ancients themselves view the issue of practicality? This essay shows that there is a notion of practicality which is prominent in both ancient Greek and ancient Chinese virtue ethics but is neglected in today’s ethics. According to this notion, ethics is to transform one’s life. The essay also raises a prospect of the revival of this notion



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,213

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The tradition of the virtue of Qian and its contemporary fate.Yaohuai Lü - 2008 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 3 (4):558-576.
Virtue ethics and virtue epistemology.Roger Crisp - 2010 - Metaphilosophy 41 (1-2):22-40.
Virtue Ethics: A Pluralistic View.Christine Swanton - 2003 - Oxford, GB: Clarendon Press.
The morality of happiness.Julia Annas - 1993 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Virtue ethics.Michael Slote - 2010 - In John Skorupski (ed.), Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie. Routledge. pp. 325--347.
Virtue: Confucius and Aristotle.Jiyuan Yu - 1998 - Philosophy East and West 48 (2):323-347.
Virtue ethics: an introduction.Richard Taylor - 2002 - Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. Edited by Richard Taylor.
Virtue Ethics.Roger Crisp & Michael Slote (eds.) - 1997 - Oxford University Press.


Added to PP

92 (#159,267)

6 months
5 (#191,006)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

A source book in Chinese philosophy.Wing-Tsit Chan - 1963 - Princeton, N.J.,: Princeton University Press. Edited by Wing-Tsit Chan.
The Complete Works: The Rev. Oxford Translation.Jonathan Barnes (ed.) - 1984 - Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Plato: Complete Works.J. M. Cooper (ed.) - 1997 - Hackett.
The world of thought in ancient China.Benjamin Isadore Schwartz - 1985 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What is ancient philosophy?Pierre Hadot - 2002 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

View all 21 references / Add more references