Strengths and Weaknesses of Virtue Ethics

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Words: 598 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Oct 31, 2018

Words: 598|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Oct 31, 2018

This essay will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of Virtue Ethics, a theory that emphasizes the development of virtues to become better people. While some argue that the weaknesses of Virtue Ethics outweigh its strengths because of its difficulty in application, others argue that the theory's strengths outweigh its weaknesses. One strength of Virtue Ethics is its focus on the individual's character rather than the situation they are in, allowing individuals to achieve eudaimonia. Additionally, the theory covers intentions and motives. However, the theory's weaknesses, such as its subjective nature and its lack of clear guidelines for decision-making, can make it challenging to apply in practice. Despite this, some still argue that the strengths of Virtue Ethics, including its focus on character and self-improvement, outweigh its weaknesses.

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Firstly, one way in which it can be argued that the weaknesses do not outweigh its strengths is because Virtue Ethics is an agent-centered theory which means that the approach focuses on the individual rather than the situation. This is a strength because although an individual will be held accountable for their actions, whether right or wrong, the most important part is the moral development of the individual. Focusing on the development of an individual will have great impact because it allows them to learn from mistakes while working on their virtues at the same time. These virtues are known as moral virtues- they are developed by practice and habit. For example, an individual will have to practice the virtue of kindness by doing kind things such as helping an old person or sharing. This strength of Virtue Ethics shows that the strengths outweigh the weaknesses because it is important to make sure that people fulfil the best of their potential in order to reach their eudaimonia. Therefore, because this is such an important aspect of life overall, it must outweigh the weaknesses simply because of its importance.

Another strength of Virtue Ethics is that it helps achieve eudaimonia. Eudaimonia is the ultimate goal for humans. Humans reach their eudaimonia by flourishing and achieving the most that they can in their life. Virtue Ethics helps an individual achieve eudaimonia because of its encouragement to act virtuously and to avoid vices. By doing intellectual and moral virtues, humans are gradually reaching their eudaimonia. This is important to the theory because it has been put I place to help humans act in a way that will benefit them reaching their eudaimonia. This outweighs the weaknesses of Virtue Ethics because it helps humans want to be better people.

Finally, another strength of Virtue Ethics which can argue against this statement is that the theory does not simply do away other moral theories. Instead of Virtue Ethics not involving other moral theories completely, it teaches it in a different way. For example, Christian Ethics teaches humans to not kill or steal. Virtue Ethics approaches this by teaching us to act wisely and justly. By doing these virtues it will be highly likely that individuals will not kill or steal. This is important because humans can incorporate Virtue Ethics in with other theories that they may follow making it easier for them to understand how to act morally. This outweighs the weaknesses of Virtue Ethics because by not ignoring other theories, it makes it a strong theory to follow.

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In conclusion, it is easy to argue that the weaknesses of Virtue Ethics do not outweigh the strengths because there are many good strengths in the theory that benefit humans a lot so therefore, the strengths are of great importance which are hard to be outweighed.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Strengths And Weaknesses Of Virtue Ethics. (2023, March 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Strengths And Weaknesses Of Virtue Ethics.” GradesFixer, 11 Mar. 2023,
Strengths And Weaknesses Of Virtue Ethics. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Strengths And Weaknesses Of Virtue Ethics [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Mar 11 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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