Qualified agent and agent-based virtue ethics and the problems of right action

In Stan van Hooft & Nafsika Athanassoulis (eds.), The Handbook of Virtue Ethics. Acumen Publishing (2014)
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An on-going question for virtue ethics is whether it stands as a truly distinctive approach to ethics. In particular, there has been much discussion of whether virtue ethics can provide a viable understanding of right action, one that is a genuine rival to familiar consequentialist and deontological accounts. In this chapter I examine two prominent approaches to virtue ethics, (i) qualified agent and (ii) agent-based virtue ethics, and consider whether either can provide an adequate account of right action. I begin with a presentation of their accounts of right action, including consideration of what is meant by the term “right action”. With this groundwork in place, I turn to a series of important objections that have been raised against these accounts, and consider some of the more prominent and promising responses that these objections have inspired.
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