virtues and vices and other essays in moral philosophy pdf

Virtues And Vices And Other Essays In Moral Philosophy Pdf

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Brown from his hiding place and snuggled beneath the covers with him, she let herself silently out the door.

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This collection of essays, written between and , contains discussions of the moral philosophy of David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, and some modern philosophers. It presents virtues and vices rather than rights and duties as the central concepts in moral philosophy. The author also applies her moral philosophy to the current debates on eu

Philippa Foot - Wikipedia

Virtue Latin : virtus is moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness. In other words, it is a behavior that shows high moral standards. Doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong. The four classic cardinal virtues in Christianity are temperance , prudence , courage or fortitude , and justice.

Christianity derives the three theological virtues of faith , hope and love charity from 1 Corinthians Together these make up the seven virtues. Buddhism's four brahmavihara "Divine States" can be regarded as virtues in the European sense. The development of virtue has a historical association as an alchemical process, wherein the internal virtues that we associate with the mind are integratively understood as the minerals that give us also the healthy biological structure of our bodies and externally the planet as a whole.

The ancient Romans used the Latin word virtus derived from vir , their word for man to refer to all of the "excellent qualities of men, including physical strength, valorous conduct, and moral rectitude.

In the 13th century, the word virtue was "borrowed into English". Maat or Ma'at was the ancient Egyptian concept of truth , balance , order , law , morality , and justice. Maat was also personified as a goddess regulating the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and the deities. The deities set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. Her ideological counterpart was Isfet , who symbolized chaos , lies, and injustice. The four classic cardinal virtues are: [7].

It is unclear whether multiple virtues were of later construct, and whether Plato subscribed to a unified view of virtues. In his work Nicomachean Ethics , Aristotle defined a virtue as a point between a deficiency and an excess of a trait. However, the virtuous action is not simply the "mean" mathematically speaking between two opposite extremes.

As Aristotle says in the Nicomachean Ethics: "at the right times, about the right things, towards the right people, for the right end, and in the right way, is the intermediate and best condition, and this is proper to virtue. For example, generosity is a virtue between the two extremes of miserliness and being profligate. Further examples include: courage between cowardice and foolhardiness, and confidence between self-deprecation and vanity.

In Aristotle's sense, virtue is excellence at being human. Epicurean ethics call for a rational pursuit of pleasure with the aid of the virtues.

The Epicureans teach that the emotions, dispositions and habits related to virtue and vice have a cognitive component and are based on true or false beliefs. By making sure that his beliefs are aligned with nature and by getting rid of empty opinions, the Epicurean develops a virtuous character in accordance with nature, and this helps him to live pleasantly. The Pyrrhonist philosopher Sextus Empiricus described Pyrrhonism as "a way of life that, in accordance with appearances, follows a certain rationale, where that rationale shows how it is possible to seem to live rightly "rightly" being taken, not as referring only to virtue, but in a more ordinary sense and tends to produce the disposition to suspend judgment Seneca , the Roman Stoic , said that perfect prudence is indistinguishable from perfect virtue.

Thus, in considering all consequences, a prudent person would act in the same way as a virtuous person. It is the lack of wisdom that results in the making of a bad choice instead of a prudent one. In this way, wisdom is the central part of virtue. Plato realized that because virtue was synonymous with wisdom it could be taught, a possibility he had earlier discounted. He then added "correct belief" as an alternative to knowledge, proposing that knowledge is merely correct belief that has been thought through and "tethered".

The term virtue itself is derived from the Latin " virtus " the personification of which was the deity Virtus , and had connotations of " manliness ", " honour ", worthiness of deferential respect, and civic duty as both citizen and soldier.

This virtue was but one of many virtues which Romans of good character were expected to exemplify and pass on through the generations, as part of the mos maiorum ; ancestral traditions which defined "Roman-ness". Romans distinguished between the spheres of private and public life, and thus, virtues were also divided between those considered to be in the realm of private family life as lived and taught by the paterfamilias , and those expected of an upstanding Roman citizen.

Most Roman concepts of virtue were also personified as a numinous deity. The primary Roman virtues, both public and private, were:. In CE, Aurelius Prudentius Clemens listed seven "heavenly virtues" in his book Psychomachia Battle of Souls which is an allegorical story of conflict between vices and virtues.

The virtues depicted were:. In the 8th century, upon the occasion of his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor , Charlemagne published a list of knightly virtues :. The same chapter describes love as the greatest of the three, and further defines love as "patient, kind, not envious, boastful, arrogant, or rude. Christian scholars frequently add the four Greek cardinal virtues prudence, justice, temperance, and courage to the theological virtues to give the seven virtues ; for example, these seven are the ones described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church , sections — The Bible mentions additional virtues, such as in the " Fruit of the Holy Spirit ," found in Galatians — "By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit it is benevolent-love: joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, benevolence, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

There is absolutely no law against such a thing. The medieval and renaissance periods saw a number of models of sin listing the seven deadly sins and the virtues opposed to each. In Islam, the Quran is believed to be the literal word of God, and the definitive description of virtue while Muhammad is considered an ideal example of virtue in human form. The foundation of Islamic understanding of virtue was the understanding and interpretation of the Quran and the practices of Muhammad.

Its meaning has always been in context of active submission to God performed by the community in unison. This faculty most crucially involves reflecting over the meaning of existence.

Therefore, regardless of their environment, humans are believed to have a moral responsibility to submit to God's will. Muhammad's preaching produced a "radical change in moral values based on the sanctions of the new religion and the present religion, and fear of God and of the Last Judgment". Later Muslim scholars expanded the religious ethics of the scriptures in immense detail.

Virtue is that which contents the soul and comforts the heart, and sin is that which causes doubts and perturbs the heart, even if people pronounce it lawful and give you verdicts on such matters again and again. For Muslims fulfilling the rights of others are valued as an important building block of Islam. According to Muslim beliefs, God will forgive individual sins but the bad treatment of people and injustice with others will only be pardoned by them and not by God.

Loving God and obeying his laws, in particular the Ten Commandments , are central to Jewish conceptions of virtue. Wisdom is personified in the first eight chapters of the Book of Proverbs and is not only the source of virtue but is depicted as the first and best creation of God Proverbs — Renowned in the Jewish tradition as a sage and a scholar, he is associated with the development of the Mishnah and the Talmud and, as such, one of the most important figures in Jewish history.

Asked for a summary of the Jewish religion in the most concise terms, Hillel replied reputedly while standing on one leg : "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.

That is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary; go and learn. Buddhist practice as outlined in the Noble Eightfold Path can be regarded as a progressive list of virtues.

Buddhism's four brahmavihara "Divine States" can be more properly regarded as virtues in the European sense. They are:. There are also the Paramitas "perfections" , which are the culmination of having acquired certain virtues.

Note the semantic parallel for English virtue , with an archaic meaning of "inner potency; divine power" as in "by virtue of" and a modern one of "moral excellence; goodness". In early periods of Confucianism , moral manifestations of "virtue" include ren " humanity " , xiao " filial piety " , and li " proper behavior, performance of rituals ".

The notion of ren — according to Simon Leys — means "humanity" and "goodness". Ren originally had the archaic meaning in the Confucian Book of Poems of "virility", but progressively took on shades of ethical meaning.

The Daoist concept of De , compared to Confucianism, is more subtle, pertaining to the "virtue" or ability that an individual realizes by following the Dao "the Way". One important normative value in much of Chinese thinking is that one's social status should result from the amount of virtue that one demonstrates, rather than from one's birth.

In the Analects , Confucius explains de as follows: "He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it.

Virtue is a much debated [30] and an evolving concept in ancient scriptures of Hinduism. For example, Apastamba explained it thus: "virtue and vice do not go about saying — here we are! Sometimes, the word punya is used interchangeably with virtue. The virtues that constitute a dharmic life — that is a moral, ethical, virtuous life — evolve in vedas and upanishads.

Over time, new virtues were conceptualized and added by ancient Hindu scholars, some replaced, others merged. The Bhagavad Gita — considered one of the epitomes of historic Hindu discussion of virtues and an allegorical debate on what is right and what is wrong — argues some virtues are not necessarily always absolute, but sometimes relational; for example, it explains a virtue such as Ahimsa must be re-examined when one is faced with war or violence from the aggressiveness, immaturity or ignorance of others.

In Jainism , attainment of enlightenment is possible only if the seeker possesses certain virtues. All Jains are supposed to take up the five vows of ahimsa non violence , satya truthfulness , asteya non stealing , aparigraha non attachment and brahmacharya celibacy before becoming a monk. These vows are laid down by the Tirthankaras.

Other virtues which are supposed to be followed by both monks as well as laypersons include forgiveness, humility, self-restraint and straightforwardness. These vows assists the seeker to escape from the karmic bondages thereby escaping the cycle of birth and death to attain liberation.

Sikh ethics emphasize the congruence between spiritual development and everyday moral conduct. Its founder Guru Nanak summarized this perspective: [44]. Nedunchezhiyan , justice according to Valluvar "dwells in the minds of those who have knowledge of the standard of right and wrong; so too deceit dwells in the minds which breed fraud.

Men should seek the sovereign good that Descartes, following Zeno , identifies with virtue, as this produces a solid blessedness or pleasure. For Epicurus the sovereign good was pleasure, and Descartes says that in fact this is not in contradiction with Zeno's teaching, because virtue produces a spiritual pleasure, that is better than bodily pleasure.

Regarding Aristotle 's opinion that happiness depends on the goods of fortune, Descartes does not deny that these goods contribute to happiness, but remarks that they are in great proportion outside one's own control, whereas one's mind is under one's complete control. Immanuel Kant , in his Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime , expresses true virtue as different from what commonly is known about this moral trait.

In Kant's view, to be goodhearted, benevolent and sympathetic is not regarded as true virtue. The only aspect that makes a human truly virtuous is to behave in accordance with moral principles. Kant presents an example for more clarification; suppose that you come across a needy person in the street; if your sympathy leads you to help that person, your response does not illustrate your virtue. In this example, since you do not afford helping all needy ones, you have behaved unjustly, and it is out of the domain of principles and true virtue.

Kant applies the approach of four temperaments to distinguish truly virtuous people. According to Kant, among all people with diverse temperaments, a person with melancholy frame of mind is the most virtuous whose thoughts, words and deeds are one of principles.

Friedrich Nietzsche 's view of virtue is based on the idea of an order of rank among people.

Thomas Aquinas: Moral Philosophy

Thomas Aquinas involves a merger of at least two apparently disparate traditions: Aristotelian eudaimonism and Christian theology. Achieving happiness, however, requires a range of intellectual and moral virtues that enable us to understand the nature of happiness and motivate us to seek it in a reliable and consistent way. On the other hand, Aquinas believes that we can never achieve complete or final happiness in this life. For him, final happiness consists in beatitude, or supernatural union with God. Such an end lies far beyond what we through our natural human capacities can attain.

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Virtues and Vices: and other essays in moral philosophy

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Virtue Latin : virtus is moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness. In other words, it is a behavior that shows high moral standards.

The opening paper, "Virtues and Vices," is one of the works that helped to resurrect virtue ethics as a research program in contemporary analytic philosophy. There are also a couple of papers on the history of philosophy, one on Hume and one on Nietzsche. This volume brings together a dozen essays published between and , and includes two new ones as well.

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Virtues And Vices And Other Essays In Moral Philosophy

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