Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
7) Discuss the concept of virtue ethics from the perspectives of its propounders – Plato, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.(250 words)
Ethics by Lexicon publications
Why this question:
The question is straightforward and is about discussing the concept of virtue ethics.
Key demand of the question:
Explain in detail the concept of virtue ethics as propounded by Plato, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
Define what you understand by virtue ethics.
Explain in detail the concept of virtue ethics as stated by Plato, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.
Virtue ethics is a broad term for theories that emphasize the role of character and virtue in moral philosophy rather than either doing one’s duty or acting in order to bring about good consequences.
In Plato’s Republic, the four cardinal virtues are wisdom, temperance, courage and justice. These reflect the nature of the soul. The soul has three parts. Our reason thinks; when it does this well, it has wisdom.
Aristotle defines virtue as the average, or ‘mean,’ between excess and deficiency. While for Aquinas, the body is not the prison of the soul, but a means for its expression. Aquinas’s ethical theory involves both principles – rules about how to act – and virtues – personality traits which are taken to be good or moral to have. The relative importance of the two aspects is debated.
Conclude with significance of virtue ethics.