Toward an Axiological Virtue Ethics

Ethical Research 3 (3):21-48 (2013)
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This article introduces Formal Axiology, first developed by Robert S. Hartman, and explains its essential features—a formal definition of “good” (the “Form of the Good”), three basic kinds of value and evaluation—systemic, extrinsic, and intrinsic, and the hierarchy of value according to which good things having the richest quantity and quality of good-making properties are better than those having less. Formal Axiology is extended into moral philosophy by applying the Form of the Good to persons and showing how this culminates in an Axiological Virtue Ethics. This involves the systemic, extrinsic, and intrinsic goodness of persons, the intrinsic-good-making properties of persons, and the moral virtues that respect the intrinsic worth of persons in thoughts, feelings, and actions. A few obstacles to being and becoming morally good persons are also identified and explained.
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