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Philosophy & Religious Studies   >   Virtue Ethics

What is Virtue Ethics?

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Virtue Ethics

In this course, Dr Iain Law (University of Birmingham) thinks about virtue ethics, one of the three major normative ethical theories alongside utilitarianism and Kantian deontological ethics. We begin in the first module by providing a broad introduction to what virtue ethics actually is. After that, we turn to three methods of deciding what the virtues actually are: (i) the doctrine of the mean; (ii) the function argument, and (iii) the concept of eudaimonia. In the fifth module, we think about Aristotle’s views on how we might go about becoming more virtuous, before turning in the sixth and seventh modules to the arguments of two contemporary virtue ethicists: Iris Murdoch and Alasdair MacIntyre.

What is Virtue Ethics?

In this module, we provide a broad introduction to what virtue ethics actually is, focusing in particular on how it differs from the other major normative ethical theories – utilitarianism and Kantianism – before moving on to consider the concept of good and bad character traits.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Law, I. (2018, September 03). Virtue Ethics - What is Virtue Ethics? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Law, I. "Virtue Ethics – What is Virtue Ethics?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 03 Sep 2018,


Dr Iain Law

Dr Iain Law

Birmingham University