more from Rosalind Hursthouse

Single Idea 4336

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / c. Particularism]

Full Idea

Any codification ranking the virtues, like any codification ranking the rules, is bound to come up against cases where we will want to change the rankings.

Gist of Idea

Any strict ranking of virtues or rules gets abandoned when faced with particular cases


Rosalind Hursthouse (On Virtue Ethics [1999], Ch.2)

Book Reference

Hursthouse,Rosalind: 'On Virtue Ethics' [OUP 2001], p.57

A Reaction

This seems right, and yet it feels like a slippery slope. Am I supposed to be virtuous and wise, but have no principles? Infinite flexibility can lead straight to wickedness. Even the wise need something to hang on to.