Download A Theory of Virtue: Excellence in Being for the Good by Robert Merrihew Adams PDF

By Robert Merrihew Adams

The celebrated thinker Robert M. Adams offers a massive paintings on advantage, that's once more a important subject in moral inspiration. A concept of advantage is a scientific, complete framework for brooding about the ethical overview of personality. Many fresh makes an attempt to stake out a spot in ethical philosophy for this trouble outline advantage by way of its merits for the virtuous individual or for human society extra as a rule. partly One Adams provides and defends a belief of advantage as intrinsic excellence of personality, worthy prizing for its personal sake and never just for its merits. within the different components he addresses demanding situations to the traditional notion of excellence of personality.

One problem arises from the significance of altruism in smooth moral notion, and the query of what altruism has to do with intrinsic excellence. half argues that altruistic benevolence does certainly have an important position in excellence of personality, yet that ethical advantage also needs to be anticipated to contain excellence in being for different items along with the health (and the rights) of different individuals. It explores family between cultural items, own relationships, one's personal reliable, and the nice of others, as items of good reasons.

The different problem, the topic of half 3 of the booklet, is typified through doubts in regards to the truth of ethical advantage, coming up from experiments and conclusions in social psychology. Adams explores intimately the customers for an empirically sensible belief of excellence of personality as an item of ethical aspiration, activity, and schooling. He argues that the sort of notion will contain renunciation of the traditional thesis of the solidarity or mutual implication of all virtues, and acknowledgment of enough 'moral luck' within the improvement of any individual's personality to make advantage very mostly a present, instead of a person fulfillment, even though still very good and admirable for that.

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Additional info for A Theory of Virtue: Excellence in Being for the Good

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The account does not follow trivially from my explication of capital V Virtue. Although I think that the particular virtues all indicate ways in which one’s being for the good can be excellent, I do not think the status of a particular trait as one of the virtues always depends on the goodness of what one is for in having or exercising the trait. Courage is an obvious example. One way in which one’s being for something good can be excellent is as being courageous. It seems natural, however, and I think it is correct, to say that a soldier may manifest courage in fighting for an unjust cause, and that the courage will still be an excellent trait and a virtue.

Should he say that they are equally fine, or at any rate that any differences in possible value arising from their differences in talent are swamped by the huge value that each of their lives can have simply as a human life? There is considerable plausibility to this reply, but acceptance of such a view seems likely to make it difficult to apply a metric of values of desired outcomes in such a way as get from it the metric of virtuousness of desires that Hurka wants. More fundamentally, the implication that we need to find an equality of value in the possible outcomes in order to justify equality of concern seems to me deeply disturbing.

And it can be a dimension of the value of being for someone else’s pleasure, since it is perfectly possible to enjoy another person’s pleasure. Arguably there are also physical pleasures that do not essentially involve intentionality or valuing. ⁷ 3 . E XC E L L E N C E A S C R I T E R I O N O F V I RT U E Not every way of being for something good is virtuous or a virtue. One can seek goods selfishly, only for oneself; or unjustly, only for one’s friends, without regard for the rights of strangers; or intemperately, losing track of one’s own most central aims and values; or in ways that cheapen human life, preferring goods that ⁷ In this paragraph I take myself to be in disagreement with the very interesting ‘‘recursive’’ account of the value of virtue in Hurka, Virtue, Vice, and Value, pp.

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