In one of Kant’s examples. He speaks of a man who is “reduced to despair” and wants to kill himself. Kant defines this man’s maxim as the following: “From self-love I adopt it as a principle to shorten my life when its longer duration is likely to bring more evil than satisfaction.” Kant goes on to explain, using logical reasoning the categorical imperative, that in order for this maxim to be right, it would need to hold true in ALL cases. Therefore, the man should consider if his maxim holds truth as a universal law. The maxim fails to hold tru...
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...the hopes of achieving the good life, or human flourishing. In order to make moral decisions, one who follows virtue ethics looks to the examples of others who had the virtues that relate to the problems they face.
Consider this example: Suppose someone owns a local pawn shop. This shop promises to offer reasonable prices for the objects that are being pawned. A person comes in with a very valuable object that they want to pawn. This person has no idea of what the price of the object is, but trusts that the owner will uphold the stores promise. The owner of the pawn shop faces the dilemma of acquiring that object at the right and fair price. If he follows virtue ethics he will look to someone who sets the example of honesty. In doing so, he knows now to offer a competitive (honest) price for the object instead of cheating the person (lying) to make a higher profit.
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