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Moral Leaders The profiles of several moral leaders in practical and professional ethics. Computer Ethics Cases This link provides several computer ethics cases and also has a description of decision making and socio-technical systems frameworks. Moral Exemplars in Business and Professional Ethics Profiles of several moral leaders in practical and professional ethics.

Presentation on virtue ethics

I. why study virtue ethics?


  • It provides new insights into moral education
  • Involves the whole self: attitudes, knowledge, skill, emotion
  • It reorients moral theory toward excellence

Ii. three definitions

    Elena lugo

  • “Las virtudes son disposiciones y rasgos del carácter del agente moral a la hora de ejecutar las acciones inherentes al ser persona.
  • se trata de un punto intermedio entre dos extremos, ninguno de los cuales representa un valor moral, sino que más bien puede constituir un vicio o al menos carecer de excelencia
  • no son meros rasgos del carácter que se operan automáticamente, sino respuestas deliberadas ante las situaciones concretas
  • Lugo,E. (2002) Relación Medico / paciente: encuentro interpersonal ética y espiritualidad. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Puerto Rico: 88

    Rosalind hursthouse

  • “A virtue such as honesty or generosity is not just a tendency to do what is honest or generous, nor is it to be helpfully specified as a “desirable” or “morally valuable” character trait.
  • It is, indeed a character trait—that is, a disposition which is well entrenched in its possessor, something that, as we say “goes all the way down”, unlike a habit such as being a tea-drinker—but the disposition in question…is multi-track.
  • It is concerned with many other actions as well, with emotions and emotional reactions, choices, values, desires, perceptions, attitudes, interests expectations and sensibilities.
  • To possess a virtue is to be a certain sort of person with a certain complex mindset.”
  • Hursthouse, R. (2007) “Virtue Ethics” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/


  • MacIntyre, a modern theorist, brings out the communitarianism in Aristotle
  • “A virtue is an acquired human quality the possession and exercise of which tend to enable us to achieve those goods which are internal to practices and the lack of which effectively prevents us from achieving any such goods.

Iii. virtues and practices

Virtues are dispositions that bring about the internal and external goods around which a social or professional practice is built.

    Constituents of a practice

  • Participants : Formed of individuals whose activities, attitudes, and goals are integrated, shared, or overlap in significant ways
  • Rules and Procedures : Participants occupy roles which outline tasks and procedures. Roles in a practice are coordinated so that they combine to bring about complex ends beyond the capabilities of isolated individuals
  • Boundaries : Boundaries such as disciplinary and theoretical principles surround practices and serve to distinguish one from the other
  • External Goals : Engineering serves public wellbeing. Medicine health. Law justice. Business commerce.
  • Internal Goals : Engineering has the internal goals of faithful agency (to client), collegiality (to peers), and loyalty (to the profession or practice itself)

Iv. developing virtues for practices

  1. Choose a virtue that is important for your occupation or profession. What goods or values does the consistent employment of this virtue produce?
  2. Develop a general description of your virtue. (Think along the following lines: people who have virtue X tend to exhibit certain characteristics (or do certain things) in certain kinds of situations. Try to think of these situations in terms of what is common and important to your profession or practice.)
  3. Identify the corresponding vices of excess and defect.
  4. Identify the obstacles arise that prevent professionals from practicing your virtue? Do well-meaning professionals lack power or technical skill?
  5. Identify a moral exemplar for your virtue. Make use of the exemplars described in the Moral Exemplars in Business and Professional Ethics module.
  6. Does your virtue stand alone or does it need support from other virtues or skills? For example, integrity might also require moral courage.


  • Murdoch, I. (1970). The Sovereignty of Good. UK: London, Routledge.
  • Sherman, N. (1989). The Fabric of Character: Aristotle’s Theory of Virtue. UK: Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Hursthouse, R. (1999). On Virtue Ethics. UK: Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Virtue Ethics. (2003). Edited by Stephen Darwall. UK: Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Blum, L. (1994). Moral Perception and Particularity. UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Pincoffs, E.L. (1986). Quandaries and Virtues: Against Reductivism in Ethics. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press.
  • Virtue Ethics (1997). Edited by Crisp, R. and Slote, M. UK: Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Environmental Virtue Ethics. (2005). Edited by Sandler, R. and Cafaro, P. New York: Rowman and Littlefield.
  • Frey, W. (2008). “Engineering Ethics in Puerto Rico: Issues and Narratives. Science and Engineering Ethics, 14: 417-431.
  • Frey, W. (2010). “Teaching Virtue: Pedagogical Implications of Moral Psychology. Science and Engineering Ethics, 16: 611-628.
  • Huff, C., Barnard, L. and Frey, W. (2008) “Good computing: a pedagogically focused model of virtue in the practice of computing (parts 1 and 2)." Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 6(3), 246-278.
  • Huff, C., Barnard, L. and Frey, W. (2008) “Good computing: a pedagogically focused model of virtue in the practice of computing (parts 1 and 2). Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 6(4), 284-316.,

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Source:  OpenStax, Modules linking to computing cases. OpenStax CNX. Jul 26, 2007 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10423/1.2
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