On Virtue Ethics

In: Frontiers of Philosophy in China
Author: Michael Slote
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If one goes beyond the Western perspective, one realizes that most philosophy outside the West has been virtue-ethical in character. But it also turns out that there are simply more historical kinds of virtue ethics than most virtue ethicists recognize. Virtue ethics is mainly of interest because of its contemporary relevance and plausibility, and it is argued here that a virtue ethics that emphasizes empathy is very plausible in contemporary terms. Such an approach can say some strong things in favor of democracy, but it can also criticize Western thought for putting too much emphasis on autonomy rights rather than people’s, and especially women’s, welfare.

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