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The Virtue Ethics View

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Good moral acts reflect the virtuous person’s character

Virtue ethics focus on the good person. Rather than trying to figure out what the morally right or good action, or principle, is, virtue ethicists concentrate on the individual character. So, the central question for virtue ethicists is “what sort of person should I be.”

Most people seem to share at least some ideals concerning admirable personal traits and habits. For instance, most of us believe that it is better to be honest, brave, intelligent and kind rather than deceitful, cowardly, dim and heartless.

The key virtue ethicist venture, to understanding morality is to understand which such virtues (like honesty and braveness) the truly virtuous or good person would display, and which vices (like dishonesty and cowardice) he or she would avoid.

Some versions of virtue ethics underline the stability or universality of virtues in different social and cultural settings, while others insist that virtues are dependent on context.