Virtue Ethics


Length: 963 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓
Sally has obviously damaged the company, so her actions will definitely require an appropriate form of punishment. However, there are several factors that have to be taken in account. For example, Sally was a loyal, responsible, and fair worker during the last 20 years, so any extreme form of punishment could damage both Sally and the company. On the other hand, an inappropriate response from the management could encourage her deviant behavior towards the company in the future. With several conflicting factors apparent in this case, working out an appropriate solution is difficulty. The virtue ethics position allows several interpretations because it focuses on the character as the main motive that defines ethical behavior. Unlike deontology that relates moral actions to rules or pragmatism that considers social context related to ethical behavior, virtue ethics approaches the issue based on individual factors.
Although virtue ethics is deeply divided in interpreting the virtue of different characteristics and the morality of their manifestations in society, it consists of six essential rules that can be found in all forms of virtue ethics. According to one of those rules, an action is morally correct if a person with a virtuous character would perform the same action in the same circumstances (Oakly & Cocking, 2004), and that rule could explain Sally's case as morally correct action. However, several people could argue that virtue ethics should be practiced without harming others. While Sally is assisting a man in need, she is also working against the company policy. It has been argued that business environments can provide a suitable environment to practice virtues, but the opposition states that it is closer to deontological requirements for following rules that are not necessarily based on personal characters and virtues (Moore, 2002).
Another division found in virtue ethics is the development and manifestation of virtues. While several philosophers stress the importance of developing virtues in the character, so these virtues can manifest later in actions, other philosophers claim virtues should not be developed subjectively and generalize their development based on the entire society (Oakly & Cocking, 2004). In other words, it is possible to argue that Sally did not develop the virtue of justice and equality because she worked against existing policies and treated one client differently. In this scenario, she did not display loyalty to the company, but it is possible that her compassion overpowered her sense of logical reasoning.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Virtue Ethics." 123HelpMe.com. 14 Dec 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=224657>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Virtue Ethics Approach Essay - 1. Identify the main pros and cons of a virtue ethics approach. The virtue ethics approach is a theory that suggests that people are judged via their character, not specific actions. An individual who has developed good character traits (virtues) is judged as a morally good person. An individual who has developed bad character traits (vices) is judged as a morally bad person. Most of us have a mixture or virtues and vices. There are many pros and cons linked to this approach. The pros include a. Emphasis on pleasure and emotion – it is good that we should enjoy acting virtuously b. Moral education – being moral is a developmental process c. Consideration of life as a whole – “One swallow doe...   [tags: Ethics ]
:: 2 Works Cited
1015 words
(2.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Consequentialism, Non- Consequentialism, Virtue Ethics and Care Ethics Essay - Introduction This essay will provide a theoretical understanding of the four ethical frameworks: Consequentialism, Non- Consequentialism, Virtue Ethics and Care Ethics. When applied to a situation these frameworks help teachers to resolve and justify their decision making. The objective is to apply the four frameworks to the scenario Helping Molly, to establish the most ethical course of action. Finally, a recommended course of action will be justification. The overarching ethical issue present within the Helping Molly scenario is the community sponsorship and the alignment with school beliefs and initiatives....   [tags: Ethics]
:: 6 Works Cited
1745 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Virtue Ethics Essay - Virtue, when I hear that word I think of value and morality and only good people can be virtuous. When I hear the word ethics I think of good versus evil, wrong and right. Now when the two are put together you get virtue ethics. You may wonder what can virtue ethics possibly mean. It’s just two words put together to form some type of fancy theory. Well this paper will discuss virtue ethics and the philosophy behind it. Virtue ethics is a theory that focuses on character development and what virtues one should obtain to be who they are supposed to be, as oppose to actions....   [tags: Aristotle, phylosophy, Greek history]
:: 3 Works Cited
892 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Virtue Ethics: Deontological and Eudaimonist Essay - There are two basic types of ethical judgments: deontological judgements that focus on duty and obligation and eudaimonist judgements that focus on human excellence and the nature of the good life. I contend that we must carefully distinguish these two types of judgement and not try to understand one as a special case of the other. Ethical theories may be usefully divided into two main kinds, deontological or eudaimonist, on the basis of whether they take one of the other of these types of judgement as primary....   [tags: Ethics Judgements Papers] 4530 words
(12.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Virtue Ethics and Business Ethics Essay - Virtue Ethics and Business Ethics When considering Aristotelian ethics and then placing them in the context of modern business practices, it is important to note that the Greek paradigm was very different to that of our own in the modernist age. Homer’s Greek myths, imminent wars and conflicts and empires were all important issues in Greek times, society however does not place such emphasis on these in today’s society. The concept of strong bonds in a community where individuals must dutifully care for one another is not integral in today’s society especially in a more capitalist society upon which the western world works and flourishes....   [tags: Papers] 1943 words
(5.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Strengths and Weaknesses Of Virtue Ethics Essay - The Strengths and Weaknesses Of Virtue Ethics The virtue ethicist suggests that his theory avoids the complicated tasks of using a formula to figure out what we ought to do, by instead focusing on the kinds of persons we ought to be. The trouble lies in determining just how we know what kinds of persons we ought to be. Or, we might put it this way: how are we to determine just what the virtues are. Obviously, if we do not know what the virtues are, then telling people to "Live virtuously!" becomes an empty imperative....   [tags: Papers] 758 words
(2.2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
The Alternative View To Virtue Ethics Essay - The Alternative View To Virtue Ethics Virtue theory is the view that the foundation of morality is the development of good character traits, or virtues. A person is good, then, if he has virtues and lacks vices. Some virtue theorists mention as many as 100 virtuous character traits, which contribute to making someone a good person. Virtue theory places special emphasis on moral education since virtuous character traits are developed in one's youth; adults, therefore, are responsible for instilling virtues in the young....   [tags: Papers] 773 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Ideas of Virtue Ethics Essay - The Ideas of Virtue Ethics In an attempt to revive the ideas of virtue ethics, many philosophers have expressed their criticisms of so-called "modern ethical theories." Some examples are as follows. Pincoffs presents his idea that modern ethical theory (MET) reduces ethics to resolution of quandaries. Williams explains his idea that MET focuses on only a particular, peculiar variety of ethical thought called "morality." Stocker claims that MET lead to "moral schizophrenia." And Wolf claims MET embodies the idea of a moral saint....   [tags: Papers] 1229 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Virtue Ethics - Virtue Ethics Virtue ethics is a theory used to make moral decisions. It does not rely on religion, society or culture; it only depends on the individuals themselves. The main philosopher of Virtue Ethics is Aristotle. His theory was originally introduced in ancient Greek times. Aristotle was a great believer in virtues and the meaning of virtue to him meant being able to fulfil one's functions. Virtue ethics is not so much interested in the question 'What should I do?' but rather in the question 'what sort of person should I become?' It has more to do with character and the nature of what it is to be human, than with the rights and wrongs of actions....   [tags: Papers] 905 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Virtue Ethics Essay - What kind of person should I be. In dealing with the question with virtue ethics, moral dilemmas such as this question will be investigated in order to compare differences and advantages as well as problems. Ethically speaking is doing what is right and if a person in question has good character and motivation she is behaving ethically. Virtue ethics is a very different approach to the other work by Aristotle. It does not primarily concentrate on the right action as such; the right action according to virtue ethicists is the one that the virtuous person would do....   [tags: Business Case Studies] 456 words
(1.3 pages)
Good Essays [preview]



I would not question her character's virtues or describe them as subjective because I believe short-term actions should not define long-term expectations. Furthermore, disputes between employers and employees can be resolved creatively only through virtue ethics.
Despite many divisions in virtue ethics, scientific research explains that actions result from interactions between economic rules and company policies, and recent advances in the understanding of psychology and sociology have resulted in proposing cooperation as a more productive business model than traditional stratified models (Solomon, 2003). Rather than imposing strict rules and reporting fraud in this scenario, I would admonish Sally to affect her salary. That would be the most appropriate response because the company would retain a valuable worker, and Sally will most likely remember to avoid similar situations in the future. The company would avoid financial damage, Sally would avoid legal actions against her, and inter-personal relationships will remain positive to ensure successful business operations in the future.
While the community viewpoint would obviously contradict my personal viewpoint, I believe my solution would be correct. Sally has made a mistake, but firing her and introducing a new employee only puts the company at risk that the same mistake will be repeated. Of course several virtues would be at stake, such as justice or equality in treating deviant behavior, but I believe virtue ethics is closer to relativism than other ethical models. I would approach the situation by observing both character-based factors and external factors that contributed to Sally's action. Based on that analysis, I would conclude that Sally is not a criminal, and it would be incorrect to treat her like one. According to Salomon (2003), compassion is a virtue often praised, but rarely practiced. In Sally's case, I would practice compassion because judging her on one mistake in 20 years would be unfair. However, I would require her to assume responsibility for her actions because she was aware that she had violated company policies, and freedom in decision-making is a virtue that comes with responsibility for those decisions.
Moore (2002) suggests that current virtue ethics is not suitable for businesses because they would soon cease to exist, but he points out the importance of essential virtues, such as practical wisdom, that can be practiced in the business environment to encourage applications of other virtues and harmonious development of the company by affecting inter-personal relationships. I agree with that statement, and I believe business leadership should practice wisdom to preserve all sides of disputes rather than damage both sides of the dispute. Damaging Sally is equal to damaging the company, and preserving her well-being is equal to preserving the company's well-being. With the virtue of practical wisdom, it is possible to see that negative outcomes and positive outcomes of decisions affect both sides in this scenario, so covering the expenses from Sally's salary while retaining a productive employee would achieve long-term positive outcomes for both sides.


Return to 123HelpMe.com