Ideas from 'On Virtue Ethics' by Rosalind Hursthouse [1999], by Theme Structure

[found in 'On Virtue Ethics' by Hursthouse,Rosalind [OUP 2001,0-19-924799-4]].

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16. Persons / B. Concept of the Self / 4. Ethical Self
The word 'person' is useless in ethics, because what counts as a good or bad self-conscious being?
20. Action / B. Motives for Action / 2. Acting on Beliefs / a. Acting on beliefs
Must all actions be caused in part by a desire, or can a belief on its own be sufficient?
20. Action / B. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / b. Intellectualism
It is a fantasy that only through the study of philosophy can one become virtuous
20. Action / C. Preliminaries of Action / 3. Willed Action / c. Weakness of will
There may be inverse akrasia, where the agent's action is better than their judgement recommends
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 5. Happiness / b. Eudaimonia
Animals and plants can 'flourish', but only rational beings can have eudaimonia
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 5. Happiness / d. Routes to happiness
Virtue may be neither sufficient nor necessary for eudaimonia
22. Metaethics / D. Consequentialism / 1. Consequentialism
Teenagers are often quite wise about ideals, but rather stupid about consequences
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / a. Nature of virtue
When it comes to bringing up children, most of us think that the virtues are the best bet
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / c. Particularism
Any strict ranking of virtues or rules gets abandoned when faced with particular cases
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / d. Virtue theory critique
Virtue ethics is open to the objection that it fails to show priority among the virtues
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / a. Natural virtue
Good animals can survive, breed, feel characteristic pleasure and pain, and contribute to the group
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / c. Motivation for virtue
Performing an act simply because it is virtuous is sufficient to be 'morally motivated' or 'dutiful'
If moral motivation is an all-or-nothing sense of duty, how can children act morally?
Virtuous people may not be fully clear about their reasons for action
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / h. Right feelings
The emotions of sympathy, compassion and love are no guarantee of right action or acting well
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / i. Absolute virtues
According to virtue ethics, two agents may respond differently, and yet both be right
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / j. Unity of virtue
Being unusually virtuous in some areas may entail being less virtuous in others
Maybe in a deeply poisoned character none of their milder character traits could ever be a virtue
We are puzzled by a person who can show an exceptional virtue and also behave very badly
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 1. Deontology
Deontologists do consider consequences, because they reveal when a rule might apply
'Codifiable' morality give rules for decisions which don't require wisdom
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism
Deontologists usually accuse utilitarians of oversimplifying hard cases
Preference utilitarianism aims to be completely value-free, or empirical
We are torn between utilitarian and deontological views of lying, depending on the examples
24. Applied Ethics / A. Decision Conflicts / 2. Dilemmas
After a moral dilemma is resolved there is still a 'remainder', requiring (say) regret
Deontologists resolve moral dilemmas by saying the rule conflict is merely apparent
Involuntary actions performed in tragic dilemmas are bad because they mar a good life
You are not a dishonest person if a tragic dilemma forces you to do something dishonest
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / a. Human distinctiveness
We are distinct from other animals in behaving rationally - pursuing something as good, for reasons
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 5. Divine Morality / b. Euthyphro question
If people are virtuous in obedience to God, would they become wicked if they lost their faith?