• Submitted By: cnelson
  • Date Submitted: 05/24/2008 2:30 PM
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Words: 2773
  • Page: 12
  • Views: 2

Both men and woman have intentions and act, so both are capable of virtue. Virtue ethics as a theory of morality has existed, most notably, since Aristotle. Courage is one such virtue and to display this persons need to experience fear and perceive danger. The circumstances surrounding an act of courage need to be proportionate to perceived risk to avoid the activity becoming an enterprise of foolishness. Also the potential costs associated with the risk must be proportionate to the ends concerning the bravery. These elements associated with courage are undoubtedly equally available to both sexes and in the sense of equality feminism woman can and have been courageous. However, in light of difference feminism, another facet may need to be added to the modern meaning of courage, as an acknowledgement that virtues are characterised with respect to attitudes held within the context of definition.

A virtue is a prescription of how someone should be. It is a component of character. Aristotle (cited in Hinman, 1998, pp. 334-335), described virtue as being a mean, or average of attitude which could be uncovered via reasoning and displayed through personality and behaviour styles. For example, the average between an excess like contrariness and a deficiency like sycophancy might be honest opinion.

Hinman mentions further the difference between substantive virtues, those that are closer to the ethical good, like philanthropy, and executive virtues those less associated with being morally good and more directly linked with qualities of desirable persona. Courage is said to be an executive virtue (Ibid., p. 336).

The virtue of courage contains at least two components. First there must be an internal factor of fear or even phobia. Psychology tells us that fear is an awareness of physiological changes in response to some stimulus or other. These changes include increased respiration, heart-beat, blood-pressure, and higher...

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