600 word virtue ethics discussion


Referring to MacIntyre’s account of practices and virtue, outline a practice in your own life that you believe requires certain virtues in order to do well.  Explain what the practice is, what the “internal goods” of the practice are and how they differ from certain “external goods” (such as money, prestige, power, etc.

), and attempt to determine the virtues that one must have in order to excel in the practice.  In other words, what are virtues that make one a good practitioner of this practice?  What are some vices that get in the way of doing this practice well?  How might someone that primarily pursues internal goods behave differently than someone primarily concerned with external goods?  Your answers to these questions should include evidence from this week’s readings and media.

Required Text

  1. Understanding Philosophy
    1. Chapter 6: Traditional Theories of Ethics
      Read the following sections:
  • Virtue Ethics
  • Problems with Virtue Ethics
  • Greed
  • Vegetarianism
  • Animal Rights
  • What We Have in Common
  • Where Do We Draw the Line
  • The Environment
  • Ethics of Extinction

>chapter 6 readings

Chapter 6 Readings

  • After Virtueby: Alisdair MacIntyre
    • Chapter 14: The Nature of Virtues




  1. Aristotle. (350 B.C.E.). Nicomachean ethics (W. D. Ross, Trans.). Retrieved from http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.html
  • Read: Book I, Chapters 1-5, 7, and 10; Book II, Chapters 1-4, 6, and 7. These portions of Aristotle’s work focus primarily on different aspects of virtue ethics and the relationship between virtue and a flourishing life.


  1. Hill, T. (1983).Ideals of human excellence and preserving natural environments. Journal of Environmental Ethics, 5(3), 211-24. Retrieved from http://www.umweltethik.at/download.php?id=403
  • This article attempts to outline a response to the problem of environmental preservation through the lens of virtue ethics. Hill utilizes virtue ethics to examine how people ought to respond to the environment and how others might be able to judge their actions through the lens of the virtues that they display.

Robinson, P. (2007). Magnanimity and integrity as military virtues. Journal of Military Ethics, 6(4), 259-269. Retrieved from the EBSCOhost database.

  • This article relates to the second applied ethics topic this week: military ethics. In this article, Robinson examines military ethics through the lens of virtue and argues for a re-evaluation of military virtues.

Zúñiga y Postigo, G. (2013). How to write an argumentative essay [Unpublished work]. College of Liberal Arts, Ashford University, Clinton, IA.

  • This document explains how students can effectively present a philosophical argument.


  1. Albert, T. (Producer), & Ramis, H. (Director). (1993). Groundhog day [Motion picture]. United States: Columbia Pictures.
  • This classic film follows the life of a man who is trapped in the same day. He cannot escape, and he must figure out how to live and keep himself sane as he wakes up to the same day every morning. The main character struggles with questions about life’s meaning and the importance of the ways that people live their lives as he attempts to escape the monotony of repetitive existence.**Please be aware you need to stream, buy, or rent Groundhog Day (Week Four) in order to successfully complete this course.

Wingclips. (n.d.). The bridge on the river Kwai [Movie clip]. Retrieved from http://www.wingclips.com/movie-clips/the-bridge-on-the-river-kwai/the-best-bridge

  • In this clip from the film, which is set during World War II, a group of British Army prisoners of war are building a bridge for their Japanese captors. The Colonel expresses the significance of character in the life of the soldier.

[movie clip]

Wingclips. (n.d.). The emperor’s club [Movie clip]. Retrieved from http://www.wingclips.com/movie-clips/the-emperors-club/who-we-really-are

  • The clip from this film relates to cheating and the relationship between cheating and one’s moral character. It also explores responses to virtue ethics and the relationship between virtue and success.
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