A New Formulation of Virtue Ethics: Components of Virtue in the View of Robert Adams
In his A Theory of Virtue, Robert Adams tries to provide a new formulation of virtue ethics. For Adams, the main components of virtue consist in “being for the good” and “excellence.” The good is, according to Adams’s Platonic-theological conception, identical with the Merciful God as an infinite Good, and all good things, as the finite good with their wide extent, are excellent to the extent of their similarity to the Good and Excellent God. Thus, being for the good refers to different manners of the relationship with the good, including desire, love, respect, and the like. Excellence refers to the kind of good that is non-instrumental, which makes what possesses it be praiseworthy, worthy of love and respect, and in its highest degree, worthy of worship. Thus, virtue refers to a position with respect to the good that is excellent. What is objectionable in Adams’s view is that he has failed to offer a criterion for the excellence of “being for the good, ” leaving it to our intuitions. However, the recognition of excellence in order to distinguish the virtue from non-virtue requires a criterion.
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Quarterly Journal of Moral Studies, Volume:1 Issue:2, 2018
49 - 66
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