ITT Technical Institute
What is Virtue and Virtue Ethics?
Virtue is the quality of high moral excellence. Virtue can also be referred to as personal/individual moral and ethical qualities. According to Thiroux and Krasemann (2012), they define virtue as ““the quality of moral excellence, righteousness, and responsibility … a specific type of moral excellence or other exemplary quality considered meritorious; a worthy practice or ideal” (pg. 62). Virtue examples include trust, gratitude, service, kindness, compassion, courage, contentment, humility, love, loyalty, faithfulness, forgiveness, hope, joyfulness, wisdom, and discipline.
Virtue Ethics came from Aristotle’s son Nicomachean called Nicomachean Ethics. Virtue Ethics is one of the main categories of normative ethics. It focuses on the actions a person performs. Basically, Virtue Ethics puts less emphasis on which rules people should follow and focuses more on what good character traits people need to develop. If people develop these good character traits such as kindness and generosity, they will help these people to make better decisions later on in life.
Different Theories of Virtue
There are several different theories of virtue. One theory of virtue or a strand of virtue ethics is called Eudaimonism. Eudaimonism is the theory in which the proper goal in life is happiness. It can be achieved by a person who incorporates virtue traits in his or her everyday life actions. Another way to explain what Eudaimonism is and how it can be achieved, Mastin (2008) states:
Eudaimonism is the classical formulation of Virtue Ethics. It holds that the proper goal of human life is Eudaimonia (which can be variously translated as "happiness", "well-being" or the "good life"), and that this goal can be achieved by a lifetime of practicing "arête" (the virtues) in one's everyday activities, subject to the exercise of "phronesis" (practical wisdom) to resolve any...