Aristotle’s virtue ethics. What makes his theories important?


Aristotle’s virtue ethics. What makes his theories important?

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Aristotle tried to understand what is the good life? How should we live it?

He realizes that there is a very tight connection between your character, your actions, and how good is your life.

What he argues is that your character, how virtuous you are, is what determines how good your life are.

This is a very rough sketch of his very great text, but it was influential for a long time for being a very in depth, logical, and extensive study of human life and character in a very down to earth, Aristotle like way (in contrast to his teacher Plato, which liked to use a lot of abstract concepts called Ideas in his works).

Virtue ethics gained a rebirth in the 20th century when philosophers felt tired of the main moral theories and their incapability to answer some major challenges. It seemed that in a way morality has to do with character and virtue, and other moral theories couldn’t capture that intuition as well.

So virtue ethics began as one thing and became something quite different, but is still one of the most significant moral theories of our age.