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  • Cited by 3
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Feltz, Adam and Cokely, Edward T. 2013. Virtue or consequences: The folk against pure evaluational internalism. Philosophical Psychology, Vol. 26, Issue. 5, p. 702.

    Pettigrove, Glen 2011. Is Virtue Ethics Self-Effacing?. The Journal of Ethics, Vol. 15, Issue. 3, p. 191.

    Keller, Simon 2007. Virtue ethics is self-effacing. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 85, Issue. 2, p. 221.


Virtue Ethics and the Problem of Indirection: A Pluralistic Value-Centred Approach

  • Christine Swanton (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 January 2009

Many forms of virtue ethics, like certain forms of utilitarianism, suffer from the problem of indirection. In those forms, the criterion for status of a trait as a virtue is not the same as the criterion for the status of an act as right. Furthermore, if the virtues for example are meant to promote the nourishing of the agent, the virtuous agent is not standardly supposed to be motivated by concern for her own flourishing in her activity. In this paper, I propose a virtue ethics which does not suffer from the problem. Traits are not virtues because their cultivation and manifestation promote a value such as agent flourishing. They are virtues in so far as they are habits of appropriate response (which may be of various types) to various relevant values (valuable things, etc.). This means that there is a direct connection between the rationale of a virtue and what makes an action virtuous or right.

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  • ISSN: 0953-8208
  • EISSN: 1741-6183
  • URL: /core/journals/utilitas
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