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Virtue Ethics (Oxford Readings in Philosophy) [Paperback]

Roger Crisp , Michael Slote
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 27, 1997 0198751885 978-0198751885
This volume brings together much of the most influential work undertaken in the field of virtue ethics over the last four decades. The ethics of virtue predominated in the ancient world, and recent moral philosophy has seen a revival of interest in virtue ethics as a rival to Kantian and utilitarian approaches to morality. Divided into four sections, the collection includes articles critical of other traditions; early attempts to offer a positive vision of virtue ethics; some later criticisms of the revival of virtue ethics; and, finally, some recent, more theoretically ambitious essays in virtue ethics.

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Editorial Reviews


"For those interested in the contemporary and ongoing developments in moral philosophy, this is an indispensable volume of essays....this volume brings together in one convenient and valuable form, some of the most important and influential writings on the subject of virtue theory from the last few decades....this volume is an important asset for those interested in that movement."--Teaching Philosophy

About the Author

Roger Crisp is Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at St Anne's College, Oxford. He edited How Should One Live? Essays on the Virtues (OUP, 1996), is an associate editor of Utilitas, and is currently working on a book on J. S. Mill's Utilitarianism.

Michael Slote is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland. He is the author of From Morality to Virtue, and is currently collaborating with Marcia Baron and Philip Pettit on a book debating the merits of Kantian ethics, consequentialism, and virtue ethics.

Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Readings in Philosophy
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 27, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198751885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198751885
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #898,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A winner March 26, 2011
Nearly all the papers in this collection are already widely recognized as the modern classics of virtue ethics -- or the classics of the modern virtue ethics. The intro by Profs. Crisp and Slote is also valuable. If you wish to be informed about the developments in contemporary moral philosophy, you should buy and study this book.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Collection July 28, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Virtue Ethics edited by Roger Crisp and Michael Slote is an installment in the Oxford Readings in Philosophy Series. The text includes a collection of contemporary essays on the theme on virtue ethics.
The field of normative ethics is centered on questions of moral behavior. In particular, it is concerned with "ought-type" questions. How ought individuals behave, and, what factors or principles ought to guide these actions? With regard to this latter question, there have traditionally been three broad opinions as to the appropriate determinants of moral behavior; the nature of the action (deontological ethics), the anticipated outcome of the action (consequentialist ethics) and the character of the actor (virtue ethics).

Deontological ethics is a rule-based approach wherein behavior is seen to be guided by obligations to perform, or to abstain from performing certain acts as a result of their intrinsic value. In this view an action such as truth telling would be prescribed on the basis that truthfulness is perceived as being inherently good. Similar to the deontological model, consequentialism is also a rule-based methodology, the key difference being that in this case the appropriateness of actions are assessed in light of their anticipated outcomes rather than their inherent quality. From a consequentialist standpoint, truth telling would be prescribed on the basis of its expected results. Finally, in contrast to these externally validated approaches, virtue ethics places the onus for ethical behavior on the agent as opposed to the action. In this view a person would tell the truth because truth telling is an integral aspect of good moral character.
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