Robert Merrihew Adams's A Theory of Virtue: Excellence in Being for the Good PDF

By Robert Merrihew Adams

ISBN-10: 0199207518

ISBN-13: 9780199207510

The prestigious thinker Robert M. Adams offers a massive paintings on advantage, that's once more a vital subject in moral concept. A thought of advantage is a scientific, finished framework for wondering the ethical overview of personality. Many fresh makes an attempt to stake out a spot in ethical philosophy for this difficulty outline advantage by way of its advantages for the virtuous individual or for human society extra quite often. partially 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 advantages. within the different elements he addresses demanding situations to the traditional thought of excellence of personality.

One problem arises from the significance of altruism in smooth moral inspiration, 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 must also be anticipated to contain excellence in being for different items along with the future health (and the rights) of alternative folks. It explores family between cultural items, own relationships, one's personal stable, and the great of others, as gadgets of fine factors.

The different problem, the topic of half 3 of the publication, is typified via doubts concerning the fact of ethical advantage, coming up from experiments and conclusions in social psychology. Adams explores intimately the customers for an empirically sensible notion of excellence of personality as an item of ethical aspiration, undertaking, and schooling. He argues that this sort of notion will contain renunciation of the traditional thesis of the harmony or mutual implication of all virtues, and acknowledgment of enough 'moral luck' within the improvement of any individual's personality to make advantage very principally a present, instead of a person success, notwithstanding still very good and admirable for that.

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

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It is widely thought that in a successful democratic polity most citizens will have certain civic virtues, but we should not deny that those virtues are excellent. Human excellence is not in general found only in an elite group. It is of great importance, morally, not to be so dazzled by excellences that are rare that we fail to appreciate the excellence of much that is ordinary. Healthy life, human or animal vitality, is a marvel and an excellence. So are simple pleasures. So is sincere love and friendship, however unambitious.

34 What is Virtue? virtues is a matter of personal psychic strength—of ability and willingness to govern one’s behavior in accordance with values, commitments, and ends one is for. However excellent they may be as strengths, structural virtues by themselves cannot make one a morally good person. That depends above all on ‘‘having one’s heart in the right place,’’ on what goods one is for, and thus on motivational virtues. But without some of the strengths of structural virtues one can hardly be excellently for the good.

Maybe some version of that claim is correct, but it cannot be right to exclude instrumental goods altogether from the concerns of virtue. Great virtue can be shown, for instance, in a passionate focus on securing for people goods that are plainly instrumental, such as an adequate income. Excellence in Being for the Good 23 Perhaps the best way of getting at the fundamental issue about the love of money is to say that being for something good is not a constituent or manifestation of virtue if it is good only for certain reasons and one is for it only for other, unrelated reasons—and likewise in the case of being against something bad.

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


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