Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/288980
Title:
Virtue ethics and the interests of others
Author:
LeBar, Mark
Issue Date:
1999
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
In recent decades "virtue ethics" has become an accepted theoretical structure for thinking about normative ethical principles. However, few contemporary virtue ethicists endorse the commitments of the first virtue theorists--the ancient Greeks, who developed their virtue theories within a commitment to eudaimonism. Why? I believe the objections of modern theorists boil down to concerns that eudaimonist theories cannot properly account for two prominent moral requirements on our treatment of others. First, we think that the interests and welfare of at least some others (e.g. family, friends, loved ones) ought to give us non-instrumental reason for acting--that is, reason independent of consideration of our own welfare. Second, we think others are entitled to what we might call respect, just in virtue of their being persons. Eudaimonist accounts (the objection runs) either cannot account for these intuitions at all, or they give the wrong sort of account. My dissertation assesses the resources of eudaimonism to meet these lines of criticism. Chapter 2, 3, and 4 survey the views of Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics, to discover insights that are important for a successful response. In Chapters 5 and 6, I offer my own account, based on what I call empathic identification. This is the habit or disposition of seeing things, in effect, through the eyes of others. Empathic identification is a process through which the interpersonal transmission of reasons for actions between persons becomes possible. I argue first that our interest in our own eudaimonia justifies us in identifying empathically with others as a general habit or disposition. Second, I argue that empathic identification explains our intuitions about the respect others are due. So empathic identification generates the right sort of explanation of our intuitions about the constraints others and their interests impose upon us after all, and renders eudaimonist virtue ethics a viable form of ethical theory.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Philosophy.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Philosophy
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Annas, Julie

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleVirtue ethics and the interests of othersen_US
dc.creatorLeBar, Marken_US
dc.contributor.authorLeBar, Marken_US
dc.date.issued1999en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIn recent decades "virtue ethics" has become an accepted theoretical structure for thinking about normative ethical principles. However, few contemporary virtue ethicists endorse the commitments of the first virtue theorists--the ancient Greeks, who developed their virtue theories within a commitment to eudaimonism. Why? I believe the objections of modern theorists boil down to concerns that eudaimonist theories cannot properly account for two prominent moral requirements on our treatment of others. First, we think that the interests and welfare of at least some others (e.g. family, friends, loved ones) ought to give us non-instrumental reason for acting--that is, reason independent of consideration of our own welfare. Second, we think others are entitled to what we might call respect, just in virtue of their being persons. Eudaimonist accounts (the objection runs) either cannot account for these intuitions at all, or they give the wrong sort of account. My dissertation assesses the resources of eudaimonism to meet these lines of criticism. Chapter 2, 3, and 4 survey the views of Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics, to discover insights that are important for a successful response. In Chapters 5 and 6, I offer my own account, based on what I call empathic identification. This is the habit or disposition of seeing things, in effect, through the eyes of others. Empathic identification is a process through which the interpersonal transmission of reasons for actions between persons becomes possible. I argue first that our interest in our own eudaimonia justifies us in identifying empathically with others as a general habit or disposition. Second, I argue that empathic identification explains our intuitions about the respect others are due. So empathic identification generates the right sort of explanation of our intuitions about the constraints others and their interests impose upon us after all, and renders eudaimonist virtue ethics a viable form of ethical theory.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectPhilosophy.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePhilosophyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorAnnas, Julieen_US
dc.identifier.proquest9927508en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b3956969xen_US
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