Nonetheless, a more precise definition of the law has largely eluded legal theorists, who have attempted to advance their own individual fixed concepts of law.
You will then consider at least two alternative courses of actions that the organization may have taken utilizing at least two different normative ethical theories from Chapter 3 of the Crane and Matten (2010) text.
Moral theories are concerned with right and wrong behavior. This subject area ofphilosophy is unavoidably tied up with practical concerns about theright behavior. However, virtue ethics changes the kind of question weask about ethics. Where deontology and consequentialism concernthemselves with the right action, virtue ethics is concerned with thegood life and what kinds of persons we should be. "What is theright action?" is a significantly different question to ask from "Howshould I live? What kind of person should I be?" Where the first typeof question deals with specific dilemmas, the second is a question about an entire life. Insteadof asking what is the right act here and now, virtue ethics asks whatkind of person should I be in order to get it right all the time.
Another distinguishing feature of virtue ethics is thatcharacter traits are stable, fixed, and reliable dispositions. If anagent possesses the character trait of kindness, we would expect him or her toact kindly in all sorts of situations, towards all kinds of people, and over a long periodof time, even when it is difficult to doso. A person with a certain character can be relied upon toact consistently over a time.
There are a number of different accountsof virtue ethics. It is an emerging concept and was initiallydefined by what it is not rather than what it is. The nextsection examines claims virtue ethicists initiallymade that set the theory up as a rival to deontology andconsequentialism.
Some moral theories try to eliminate the influence of luck onmorality (primarily deontology). Virtue ethics, however, answers thisobjection by embracing moral luck. Rather than try to make morality immune tomatters that are outside of our control, virtue ethics recognizes thefragility of the good life and makes it a feature of morality. It isonly because the good life is so vulnerable and fragile that it is soprecious. Many things can go wrong on the road to virtue, such that thepossibility that virtue is lost, but this vulnerability is an essentialfeature of the human condition, which makes the attainment of the goodlife all the more valuable.
This objection fails to appreciate the role of thevirtues within the theory. The virtues are other-regarding. Kindness, for example, isabout how we respond to the needs of others. The virtuous agent'sconcern is with developing the right sort of character that will respond to the needs of others in an appropriate way. Thevirtue of kindness is about being able to perceive situations where oneis required to be kind, have the disposition to respond kindly in areliable and stable manner, and be able to express one's kind characterin accordance with one's kind desires. The eudaimonist account of virtue ethics claims that the good of theagent and the good of others are not twoseparate aims. Both rather result from the exercise of virtue. Rather thanbeing too self-centered, virtue ethics unifies what isrequired by morality and what is required by self-interest.
Moral philosophy is concerned with practical issues. Fundamentally it is about how we should act. Virtue ethics has criticized consequentialist and deontologicaltheories for being too rigid and inflexible because they rely on onerule or principle. One reply to this is that these theories are action guiding. The existence of "rigid" rules is a strength, not a weakness because they offer clear direction on what to do. As long as we know the principles, we can apply them topractical situations and be guided by them. Virtue ethics, it isobjected, with its emphasis on the imprecise nature of ethics, fails togive us any help with the practicalities of how we should behave. Atheory that fails to be action-guiding is no good as a moral theory.
In earlier ethical theories, conscience was regarded as a separate faculty of the mind having moral jurisdiction, either absolute or as a representative of God in the human soul....
There are many different accounts of virtue ethics. The three types discussed above are representative of the field. There is a large field, however, of diverse writers developing other theories of virtue. For example, Christine Swanton has developed a pluralist account of virtue ethics with connections toNietzsche. Nietzsche's theory emphasizes the inner self and provides a possible response to the call for a better understanding of moral psychology. Swanton develops an account of self-love that allows her to distinguish truevirtue from closely related vices, e.g. self-confidence from vanity orostentation, virtuous and vicious forms of perfectionism, etc. She alsomakes use of the Nietzschean ideas of creativity and expression to showhow different modes of acknowledgement are appropriate to the virtues.
Finally, the Ethics of Care is another influential versionof virtue ethics. Developed mainly by feminist writers, such as AnnetteBaier, this account of virtue ethics is motivated by the thoughtthat men think in masculine terms such as justiceand autonomy, whereas woman think in feminine termssuch as caring. These theorists call for a change in how we viewmorality and the virtues, shifting towards virtues exemplified bywomen, such as taking care of others,patience, the ability to nurture, self-sacrifice, etc. These virtues have been marginalized because society has not adequately valued thecontributions of women. Writings in this area do not always explicitly make a connection withvirtue ethics. There is much in their discussions, however, of specificvirtues and their relation to social practices and moral education, etc.,which is central to virtue ethics.
Virtue ethics offers a radically different account to deontology and consequentialism. Virtue ethics, however, has influenced modern moral philosophy to not only by developing a full-fledged account of virtue, but also has caused consequentialistsand deontologists to re-examine their own theories with view totaking advantage of the insights of virtue.