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‘The weaknesses of Virtue Ethics outweigh its strengths.’ Discuss.

Topic:  Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

6. ‘The weaknesses of Virtue Ethics outweigh its strengths.’ Discuss. (250 words)

Reference:  Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The question is based on the theme of virtue ethics and its fallacies.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in what way The weaknesses of Virtue Ethics outweigh its strengths. Discuss with examples.


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:


Briefly define virtue ethics.


Virtue Ethics is one of the three approaches of normative ethics and is attributed to its founding fathers, Plato and Aristotle. Its emphasis is on a person’s individual character when it comes to ethical thinking as opposed to consequences and actions. Present the strengths of virtue ethics in general and then the weaknesses. Critics of virtue ethics say that this theory lacks focus when it comes to determining the types of actions that are morally acceptable and permitted from the ones that should be avoided. Instead, it concentrates more on the qualities an individual has to enhance or improve in order to become a good person etc.


Conclude with the justification of the statement in question.