As a result of its incompleteness, it does may not offer any solution to specific moral dilemmas. On the other hand, deontological theories are too rigid. courage of the soldier the city would be taken over and the people enslaved. An analysis of their rhetoric quickly shows that they all see Americans and Westerners in general as cowardly, in its feminine connotation. Due to its flexibility, the theory provides impartial and practical solutions to some of the moral dilemmas that cannot be solved by other alternative theories. Aristotle identified some virtues and they include: courage, temperance, wittiness, friendliness, modesty, righteous, indignation, truthfulness, patience, ambition, magnanimity, magnificence, and liberality (Adams 67). Google Coaches its Employees by the Most Qualified... Brady, Michael. Previously it was taken for granted that men and women were different, especially regarding courage. We all know of courageous women unafraid to risk their lives in defense of a principle - Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for example. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. There is so much ambiguity over the various roles of women and men in Western society that it becomes hard to answer In Character's question except with the banality that "there are courageous men and courageous women just as there are cowardly men and cowardly women." “Be bold and seize the day” is the motto of the courageous. The same Aristotle who implicitly demanded courage of women also said that courage was especially to be found in battle. Courage is another virtue necessary for justice, and occurs when an individual’s wisdom is “backed up” by his or her spirit, unflinching in the face of “fears and desires”(Plato, Republic, 429d). On the positive side, ethics virtue is moderate and it unifies reason and emotions. Following Kant’s view it is possible for human beings to choose the right actions, but they may not live good lives besides not developing virtuous characteristics. Our thinking today offers two objections to this universal verdict of common sense. The virtues of kindness, honesty, courage, and justice are perhaps better understood in modern vocabulary as character traits. There were definitely some brave men who delivered on their promise of protection. But it is the one that is most publicly celebrated, and therein lies its danger. Remember that courage is not the absence of fear, but action in the face of fear. “The courage”, a virtue that we usually define as the absence of fear or the ability to make the right decision against all odds, and the moral strength. Remember duty and utility are poor explanations of human interaction. Courage gives us the strength we need to face risk with confidence and grace. There have been a few female suicide bombers among the Islamic terrorists, young and either deluded or conscripted, but it's safe to suppose that if women were the leaders of Islamic radicalism they would go in for raising consciousness rather than terrorism. Its flexibility and no-dogmatic approach also resolves disagreements arising from other theories. The only problem with this is that you have to be both courageous and a coward, so how can you be both if your life and your troops life 's depend on you. It was here that I saw how religion and tribal custom combine to paint the female victim as the perpetrator. This position, which is held by the virtue theory, conflicts with Kant’s view that human beings should act from duty even if they are not disposed to do so. On the other hand, Aristotle rejected this position in favour of a naturalistic one. It would not be good to measure the amount of courage we need from the willingness of women to produce half of it. “The courage”, a virtue that we usually define as the absence of fear or the ability to make the right decision against all odds, and the moral strength. A man is more likely to run into a burning building to save kittens if he has the training and equipment to do so. The moral reasoning for leaving them in their makeshift tents was derived from both the tribal tradition and the Koran. The West's preoccupation with personal expression of gender is causing it to become distracted from an enemy who has never had that same luxury. Brain research simply confirms it’s more common in women than in men. Character Sketches | Features | Observation | Review | Pro/Con | RSS. Courage, she said, contains three basic elements: noble goal, personal risk, and choice. The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter. Virtue ethics is the term given to an approach that has a focus on character. When we have both groups active at any relationship level, then there is balance to the group. Indeed, most of these women emphasize the process and don't really care to give a purpose for all the struggling. If, on the other hand, she became so bold as to question the inferior position that she and her womenfolk were allotted, then she was not seen as brave but as bewitched, inspired by the devil and bent on creating chaos. Courage, in the sense of acting in a way that responds to risk appropriately, not over-confidently or in a cowardly way, will also help us to accomplish ‘good’ things. But whenever the appetites (any addiction will do) or emotions (e.g., anger) take over against the mind, one will have a disordered soul. Putting up a single bookshelf does not make you a skilled builder any more than a single act of courage makes you a courageous and virtuous person. At the same time, the theory resolves conflict between two absolute duties. Aristotle's virtue ethics was one of the first systematic treatments of ethical theory in the west. This is because carrying out an action as a duty is completely impersonal. In addition, the sense of duty encourages human beings to behave in an inhuman manner as such the agents do not factor in the feelings of others. That is why the theory is considered to be selfish in that it sometimes disregards the feelings of other people. “ Be bold and seize the day ” is the motto of the courageous. Favorite Answer. This position is supported by Hursthouse (1999) who argues that the definition of what is virtuous is ambiguous. 2-They are always aware of their limitations. Essentialism makes reason rigid and morality judgmental. The result of too much exactness is social science studies concluding either that there is no room for human choice - women are fated to be timid - or that there is no guide for human choice - women can do anything they please. When we have both groups active at any relationship level, then there is balance to the group. The difference in physical strength between the sexes explains, at face value, why the military is still a man's world. Professor of Government at Harvard University. The concept is what Aristotle referred to as the eudaimonia. A woman can display bravery if she saves her honor, the lives of her children, or protects the property of her husband or clan. Moreover, behaviour based on utility does not take into accounts the feelings of others, rather it emphasizes on an idealized form of happiness. The idea of moderation is not applicable in all situations. However, in modern times, the concept of eudaimonia is now referred to as human flourishing. It is a far cry from anything I had ever known or thought possible when I lived in Africa. Different cultures have different moral codes and is also becomes hard to justify whether an action is right or wrong. Their agony, and perhaps eventual death, was justified as a way of washing the shame off the clan (their male relatives). Aristotle's virtue ethics was one of the first systematic treatments of ethical theory in the west. It is quite common to see people who boast of endless virtues. Aristotle contends virtue = habits of excellence. What are the pros and cons of living by this virtue? Aristotle defines, defends and explains a number of virtues in the Nicomachean Ethics, invoking examples and arguments to make a case for what is his understanding of the virtue in question, taking for granted that the virtue in question is in fact a virtue and worthy of cultivation. More specifically, it focuses on the character of the actor or agent. What’s more, that honesty you try to maintain for yourself also be demanded from others. While this was a very popular approach in ancient Greece and Rome it languished in the Middle Ages. In that context, I remember no ambiguity about courage: it was a masculine virtue. 11165 or the Telecommuting Act. Explore the pros and cons of such a view. On this account, virtue ethics does not emphasize on impartiality unlike other theories. When it comes to utility, behaviour that is based on utility does not foster relationships between human beings. One last point: In the age of sexual liberation, every woman not protected by poverty and extreme old age needs the courage to defend her virtue. According to Irwin (26) Aristotle also believed that virtues are mean. Discuss the pros and cons of altering the catalogue using: (a) Deontology,(b) Utilitarianism, and (c ) Virtue ethics. A man who, in times of hardship, fails to fight by hiding or running away is condemned as a "woman," effeminate and cowardly. While this was a very popular approach in ancient Greece and Rome it languished in the Middle Ages. Aristotle identified some virtues and they include: courage, temperance, wittiness, friendliness, modesty, righteous, indignation, truthfulness, patience, ambition, magnanimity, magnificence, and liberality (Adams 67). She can display it if she endures torture, even the threat of rape and death, but keeps secret any information that might compromise her family (father, husband, or the clan at large). One gets "the red badge of courage" in war, and women were not thought to be cut out for war. It turns one into a bully hiding behind the excuse that God or nature made things the way they are, leaving men with no choice but to discriminate against women. On the border between Kenya and Somalia, just after the civil war began, I saw men with no sense of direction, discipline, or energy to fight. He said something not so definite: men find it easier to be courageous than women, and women find it easier to be moderate than men. —L.Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz "Being terrified but going ahead and doing what must be done—that's courage. Unfortunately, most people define good life as life as full of pleasure, and self gratification. The women walked, gathered food, found water, and told stories of hope and better times to come. Aristotle observed that human beings have the ability to reason and this ability sets them apart from the other living creatures. Unlike other theories, the virtue ethics theory does not prescribe to rigid rules and principles of behaviour. At the same time, human beings have emotions that inform their judgements. Responsible choice guided by the inclinations of human nature is abandoned, and social science offers partial and partisan studies supposedly proving that women are either prisoners or conquerors of their inclinations. The second is in our social science, which is hostile to common sense and unwelcoming to "natural inclinations" of any sort. What father and brother did not question, however, was that an act of courage was, by definition, masculine, even if it were carried out by a female. The question of courage and its manly denotation is relevant now more than ever for the West. Virtues can be compared to skills and are acquired through proper upbringing. First, let me suggest that you have to believe that practicing courage is a worthy pursuit. 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