Czy virtue ethics zrehabilitowała we współczesnej etyce cnotę? Uwagi historyczno-systematyczne
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Has Virtue Ethics Vindicated Virtue? Historical and Systematic Remarks
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It seems evident that within contemporary ethical discourse ancient category of virtue is by far more popular than other ethical concepts of the classical moral philosophy. Socrates was the ﬁrst to introduce arete into ethics and made it into the most important notion of his ethical teaching. Plato systematized cardinal virtues according to parts of the soul. Ancient Greek aretology has been developed most thoroughly by Aristotle. Arethical elements are nowadays present in some orientations of contemporary ethics, such as neo-Thomism, phenomenology and hermeneutics. Anglo-American virtue ethics attempts to create an integral ethical theory based on the category of virtue. Such ethics is based on a principle that persons, rather than human actions, are a point of reference of all moral evaluations. Virtue ethics has become a subject of intense debates owing to Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue. He diagnosed the failure of the Enlightenment project concerning the foundations of ethics, and proposed to return to Greek teleologism. MacIntyre supports a view of virtue as cultivated in a particular community. Thus virtue is not universal and it does not transcend the historical; it is essentially a social value. In the subjective sense it is an acquired trait. Appreciation of virtue in contemporary moral philosophy is combined in genere with a speciﬁc turn towards an integral subject. It is a sign of search of human inner harmony and human teleological structure. Virtue is a remedy for ethical atomism which axiologically focuses on particular man’s actions, and tends to lose from sight an integral vision of morality as the essence of humanity.
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