Virtue ethics and practical guidance

Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):297-313 (2013)
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In this essay I argue that contemporary accounts of virtue ought to incorporate methods ancient virtue ethicists used in addressing an audience whose members were interested in improving their behavior. Ancient examples of these methods, I argue, model how to represent practical rationality in ethical arguments. They show us that when we argue for virtue we ought to address common claims, refer to moral reasoning as a stepwise process, and focus on norms when making recommendations. Our own ethical arguments will be improved if we do these things. To the extent that these methods are incorporated into our contemporary accounts of virtue, we will make important points of contact with the account of practical rationality that forms the very basis of the view.
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