Virtue Ethics

Virtue Ethics

The virtue theorists holds that what matters for an individual, morally speaking, is manifesting a virtuous character, not maximizing consequences or acting from duty. A character trait is some disposition a person has to act in one way or another, independent of the situation they are involved in. For example, a courageous person will act in the face of fear in all situations where it is called for. If someone only acted in the face of fear in their class but never in sports games, it might be hard to call that person courageous — though you might say they are trying to be. Continue reading Virtue Ethics

Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism

There is a strain of thought that is common to many: the right thing to do in any circumstance is to maximize utility for the greatest number of people. Of course, not many people use the umbrella term utility, but rather they tend to say “happiness” or “pleasures.” Utility is a placeholder for some good that one wants to maximize. The theory that the moral, or right, thing to do in any situation is to maximize utility for the greatest number of people is known as utilitarianism. Continue reading Utilitarianism