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How Does the Virtue Theory Differ from Utilitarianism and Duty Theory?

May 29, 2012

Keysha Latrice Gwin West Los Angeles College

Philosophy 20 Ethics – Final Exam

How Does the Virtue Theory Differ from Utilitarianism and Duty Theory?

May 29, 2012

Keysha Latrice Gwin West Los Angeles College

Virtue Theory, Utilitarianism and Duty Theory contain the common goal of HAPPINESS! Although they share this common goal the journey in which you reach said happiness bares little similarity. Aristotle’s Virtue Theory states that perfect happiness or Eudemonia is realized by “living the good life”. Aristotle believes that you achieve this state of perfect happiness as a result of a reasoned governed life. Virtue theory focuses on what is good for oneself. Aristotle believed that mankind would blossom by exhibiting good virtues however; everything should be done with moderation. Finding the moderate balance of virtue is a skill that can only be accomplished through Phronesis “practical wisdom”.

Virtuous acts lie between the deficiency and excessiveness of virtue itself. Virtue is not a characteristic that a man exhibits by following rules and guidelines set before him; virtuous acts are those that are guided by what the individual agent wants for himself! It asks the question “what type of person do I want to be”. Finding the medium in virtuous acts involves applying the skills of communication, awareness, and knowledge, all of which are developed through acknowledging and acting upon moral conditions. One will never master these skills seeing that most will encounter a verity of moral dilemmas ranging from one extreme to the next in their lifetime making it impossible. However every circumstance provides practice which intern lands you one step closer to Eudemonia.

Focusing on the agent himself rather than the act...

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