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

By Robert Merrihew Adams

ISBN-10: 0199207518

ISBN-13: 9780199207510

The celebrated thinker Robert M. Adams offers a huge paintings on advantage, that is once more a crucial subject in moral concept. A thought of advantage is a scientific, entire framework for brooding about the ethical assessment of personality. Many contemporary makes an attempt to stake out a spot in ethical philosophy for this problem outline advantage by way of its merits for the virtuous individual or for human society extra as a rule. partly One Adams offers 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 elements he addresses demanding situations to the traditional notion of excellence of personality.

One problem arises from the significance of altruism in glossy moral concept, and the query of what altruism has to do with intrinsic excellence. half argues that altruistic benevolence does certainly have a vital 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 future health (and the rights) of different people. It explores relatives between cultural items, own relationships, one's personal solid, and the great of others, as gadgets of fine factors.

The different problem, the topic of half 3 of the ebook, is typified through doubts concerning the truth of ethical advantage, coming up from experiments and conclusions in social psychology. Adams explores intimately the customers for an empirically reasonable belief of excellence of personality as an item of ethical aspiration, exercise, and schooling. He argues that this sort of perception will contain renunciation of the traditional thesis of the solidarity or mutual implication of all virtues, and acknowledgment of adequate 'moral luck' within the improvement of any individual's personality to make advantage very mostly a present, instead of somebody fulfillment, although still first-class and admirable for that.

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Example text

Thus it can be excellent to be in a position in which it is appropriate and rational, and thus excellent, to care more about the good of one person or project than about the good of other similar persons or projects. In order to get to a position in which considerations of agent-relative proportionality are even relevant, this argument depends on considerations of excellence which are not considerations of proportionality. ¹⁷ Richness of understanding and appreciation of a particular good and durability of commitment to it, for example, are among the aspects of response that may outweigh impartial proportionment as grounds of excellence in being for goods.

My final task in this chapter is to articulate a conceptual framework for such reflection. 32 What is Virtue? Two different concepts are involved here, both legitimately expressed by the word ‘virtue’. ’’²¹ It is the holistic property of having a good moral character. To have it one must not only have a number of excellent traits. One must also have them excellently composed into a whole. When we speak, on the other hand, of particular traits, such as benevolence and wisdom, as virtues, we use ‘virtue’ in a ‘‘small v’’ sense in which it has a plural and does take the indefinite as well as the definite article.

Both are forms of imperceptiveness regarding factors that enrich or impoverish human lives. Both result in one’s being less helpful to other people than one meant to be. Most of us will be tempted to say that insensitivity to other people’s feelings is a graver fault than aesthetic bad taste. Whether that is correct must depend, I think, on whether feelings are generally, if not universally, more important than aesthetic values as determinants of the quality of human lives and human relationships.

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


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