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October 12, 2008

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Tim

In the debate over whether ethics should be about guiding individual actions, or about striving for the holistic character, virtue ethics is obviously about the latter. But virtue ethics looks strong for a very special reason: it encompasses both action and character. Virtue ethics is, more obviously, focused on being the best person one can be, and about developing virtues of character. However, these virtues also mean that, as a virtuous person, I know what action I should choose. Maybe it's elitist and not very action-guiding if you're not virtuous, but from the perspective of being a virtuous person, virtue ethics looks like it ultimately will satisfy both the action and the character demands of ethical theories.

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