CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

Virtue Ethics

Department

Department of History and Political Science

Publication Date

8-27-2013

Publication Title

Metapsychology Online Reviews

ISSN

1931-5716

Volume

17

Issue/No.

36

Abstract

Excerpt

Chapter one of Virtue Ethics begins with this sentence. “In 1958, Elizabeth Anscombe published a paper that was to change the shape of modern moral philosophy” (11). There seems to be a consensus among academic philosophers that Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy” signals the rehabilitation of a way of thinking about ethics generally dismissed by modern Enlightenment-inspired philosophers. The idea that to understand virtue is to understand the core of morality was central to such thinkers as Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and the Stoics. Athanassoulis’s Virtue Ethics is a clearly written and nicely organized rehearsal of the core debate between “virtue ethicists” and modern mainstream (for lack of a better term) moral philosophers, in particular deontologists and consequentialists. “The aim of this volume” says Athanassoulis, is to provide a critical introduction to virtue ethics for readers who have some general background knowledge of moral philosophy” (3).

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