Common Objections to Virtue Ethics



In this chapter I will identify and examine several common criticisms levelled at virtue ethics. One of the aims of this chapter is to consider whether a strong, i.e., action-guiding version of virtue ethics is plausible.


Virtue Ethic Common Objection Moral Rule Virtuous Person Virtuous Character 
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  1. 1.
    R. Hursthouse, On Virtue Ethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 36.Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    J. Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy, 3rd edn (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999).Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    See, for example: W. D. Ross, The Right and the Good (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1930).Google Scholar
  4. 13.
    P. Benn, Ethics (London: UCL Press, 1998), p. 170.Google Scholar
  5. 17.
    M. Lessnoff, Social Contract (Oxford: Polity Press, 1988)Google Scholar
  6. D. Gauthier, Morals by Agreement (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986).Google Scholar
  7. 26.
    P. Geach, The Virtues (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), pp. 29–30.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Alan E. Armstrong 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Central LancashirePrestonUK

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