What is 'virtue'?
And how can we lead moral lives?
Exploring how contemporary moral philosophy has led to a revival of interest in the concepts of 'virtue', 'character' and 'flourishing', this is an accessible and critical introduction to virtue ethics. Comprising of three parts, the first part examines the work of key contemporary thinkers such as Elizabeth Anscombe and Bernard Williams in calling for a change of direction in moral philosophy and adopting a different approach to answering questions such as 'How should I live my life?'. The second part develops a detailed account of Aristotelian eudaimonistic virtue ethics, which considers the virtuous agent to be an ideal and highlights the importance of moral perception and practical wisdom. In the final part, Athanassoulis explores new challenges to virtue ethics from psychology, discusses the practical implications of educating for the virtues and finally considers the neo-Kantian response to virtue ethics.
Virtue Ethics also includes chapter summaries and guides to further reading throughout to help readers explore, understand and develop a critical perspective towards this important school of contemporary ethical thought.
Nafsika Athanassoulis is an independent researcher and has previously taught at Keele University and the University of Leeds, UK. She is the author of Morality, Moral Responsibility and Moral Luck (Palgrave, 2005), editor of Philosophical Reflections on Medical Ethics (Palgrave, 2010) and, with Samantha Vice, editor of The Moral Life: essays in honour of John Cottingham (Palgrave, 2008).
Acknowledgements \ Abbreviations, Sources and Translations \ Introduction \ Part I: Virtue Ethics as New Alternative \ 1. Virtue Ethics, A Revived Alternative \ 2. Ethics and Morality \ 3. Character and the Emotions \ Conclusion for Part I \ Part II: Virtue Ethics Comes of Age \ 4. Virtue; An Aristotelian Definition I \ 5. Virtue; An Aristotelian Definition II \ 6. A Naturalistic Account of Virtue \ Conclusion for Part II \ Part III: Current Developments in Virtue Ethics \ 7. The Challenge from Personality Psychology \ 8. Moral Education and the Virtues \ 9. The Kantian Response \ Conclusion for Part III \ Conclusion \ Notes \ Bibliography \ Index