What is eudaimonia?
According to Aristotle, it is ‘well being’ and fulfillment.
What is the aim of virtue theory?
What is ethos?
The character of a person by Aristotle.
According to Aristotle, what are the three aspects of happiness?
- A life of enjoyment
- A life with freedom
- Being a philosopher (living by reflection and contemplation).
What is the most important virtue?
What are the types of virtue and how are they developed?
Moral and intellectual. Moral is developed by habit and practice and intellectual is developed by education.
What are the intellectual virtues?
Insight, wisdom and prudence
What are the moral virtues?
Courage, patience, proper ambition and truthfulness
What does Aquinas compare cultivating the virtues to?
A ‘first sketch’ that develops into a picture.
What types of people does Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean produce?
- The sophron
- The enkrates
- The akrates
What is a sophron?
Someone who naturally lives in the mean without effort.
What is the enkrates?
Someone who is tempted but has the will power to stay in the mean.
What is the akrates?
A person who is tempted by vices and has no will power.
What is the doctrine of the mean?
The balance between excess and deficiency.
What is the excess and efficiency of courage?
Rashness and cowardice
What is the excess and efficiency of generosity?
Vulgarity and pettiness
What is the excess and efficiency of modesty?
Shyness and shamelessness
What are the key virtues?
Courage, wisdom, temperance and justice with wisdom driving them all.
What does Jesus say on the sermon on the mount?
‘blessed are the peacemakers…’
‘blessed are those who mourn…’
‘blessed are the meek…’
What does ‘poor in spirit’ mean?
Those who are oppressed, enslaved and have their rights taken from them.
What does ‘mourning’ mean?
Concern for loss of possession, status, health or a person.
What does ‘meek’ mean?
A description of discipline and self control.
What is a good thing about virtue theory?
It focuses on the way that we behave rather than simply what we should believe.
Why is virtue theory attractive to feminist thinkers?
It is an alternative to the rules and duties that are stereotypically a male way of approaching life.
Give three challenges to virtue theory.
- It doesn’t fit conveniently into the category of either teleological or deontological.
- Virtues are not a practical guide to moral behaviour
- Cultural relativism and the use of virtues for immoral acts
Explain the challenge of the virtues not being practical for moral behaviour.
- Could be seen as vague, imprecise and arbitrary.
- There is too much dependence on the potential goodness of others
- Too individualistic so not practical for society as a whole
- Too complex for many humans to apply, even Aristotle recognised that not everyone has the same ability when resisting a vice.
Explain the challenge of cultural relativism.
- There is a degree of behaviour and there has been clear instances where one society’s virtue is considered another society’s vice.
What is a problem with the virtues?
The virtues are very subjective as there could be differences in expressing a virtue for example warriors are praised for their courage.