May 2019

Exploring Virtue Ethics

Kronk, perhaps my most beloved Disney character struggles with virtue

Virtues are broad prescriptions about how one should behave. Virtues represent a collective history and tendency to make specific choices, however those choices need not continue to be made. For instance "courage" is a virtue, someone who is "courageous" usually doesn't flee from what they fear, but it is a choice available to them at every encounter. This draws a distinction between virtues and traits. Physical strength is a trait, and not an (ethical) virtue, just because it is a trait that is useful in many situations does not give it a moral value.