Virtue Ethics

Virtue ethics is rooted in the philosophy of Aristotle and remains a major force in ethical thought. As reinterpreted for Christianity by Thomas Aquinas, it is widely taught in Roman Catholic schools, where you might know it as natural law theory. Virtue ethics turns up in nonsectarian classrooms as well, and it has been quite fashionable at times.

Despite all this, virtue ethics is not part of the ethical framework developed in this book. Natural law theorists may find this exasperating and throw the book in the trash. So let me try to explain briefly what virtue ethics is all about and why I exclude it. This will also give me an opportunity to say something about the philosophical underpinning of the methodology I use in the ...

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