Virtue Ethics

Based upon your reading of Dr. Christina Sommers’ article on Virtue Ethics & the video lecture by Tamar Gendler on the same, write a 2 to 3 page essay (double-spaced) on what virtue ethics is and how each of these philosophers explains it. You will need to answer the following questions: According to Sommers, what is the main problem today and what is her basic answer both in terms of content and scope? And then, from the lecture by Dr. Gendler, explain how we can turn normative commitments into descriptive laws and what does it mean to do that, according to her explanation of Aristotle’s virtue ethics (video link)? Do you think it is fair to say that virtue ethics, as Tamar Gendler explains this moral theory, is a type of human programming and, if so, does this view challenge or undercut the idea of good human behavior as a matter of choice rather than response without thought? Explain. Do you think this approach of Professor Gendler to how virtue ethics becomes part of us goes along with Professor Sommers’ thesis on what is needed in schools today or not? Explain. Finally, what part of Christina Sommers’ analysis and proposal you find convincing, if any, and what part of it, if any, do you find questionable?

Sample Solution

Virtue Ethics

Based upon your reading of Dr. Christina Sommers’ article on Virtue Ethics & the video lecture by Tamar Gendler on the same, write a 2 to 3 page essay (double-spaced) on what virtue ethics is and how each of these philosophers explains it. You will need to answer the following questions: According to Sommers, what is the main problem today and what is her basic answer both in terms of content and scope? And then, from the lecture by Dr. Gendler, explain how we can turn normative commitments into descriptive laws and what does it mean to do that, according to her explanation of Aristotle’s virtue ethics (video link)? Do you think it is fair to say that virtue ethics, as Tamar Gendler explains this moral theory, is a type of human programming and, if so, does this view challenge or undercut the idea of good human behavior as a matter of choice rather than response without thought? Explain. Do you think this approach of Professor Gendler to how virtue ethics becomes part of us goes along with Professor Sommers’ thesis on what is needed in schools today or not? Explain. Finally, what part of Christina Sommers’ analysis and proposal you find convincing, if any, and what part of it, if any, do you find questionable?

Sample Solution

Virtue Ethics

Based upon your reading of Dr. Christina Sommers’ article on Virtue Ethics & the video lecture by Tamar Gendler on the same, write a 2 to 3 page essay (double-spaced) on what virtue ethics is and how each of these philosophers explains it. You will need to answer the following questions: According to Sommers, what is the main problem today and what is her basic answer both in terms of content and scope? And then, from the lecture by Dr. Gendler, explain how we can turn normative commitments into descriptive laws and what does it mean to do that, according to her explanation of Aristotle’s virtue ethics (video link)? Do you think it is fair to say that virtue ethics, as Tamar Gendler explains this moral theory, is a type of human programming and, if so, does this view challenge or undercut the idea of good human behavior as a matter of choice rather than response without thought? Explain. Do you think this approach of Professor Gendler to how virtue ethics becomes part of us goes along with Professor Sommers’ thesis on what is needed in schools today or not? Explain. Finally, what part of Christina Sommers’ analysis and proposal you find convincing, if any, and what part of it, if any, do you find questionable?

Sample Solution

Ethical Theories to Apply: Utilitarianism, Universal Ethics, Golden Rule, Virtue Ethics

Task
You work in the Ethics Department for ABC Company (ABC). Your department is dedicated
to advising its employees about their ethical obligations in the corporate setting. You are an
internal consultant who provides advice and most importantly, recommendations for action to
employees of the firm. All communications you receive in this capacity are confidential.
Luke, an employee of ABC, comes to you with the following scenario and asks for your advice.
He wants to fully consider the situation. Your task is to advise and recommend a course of
action based on the specified ethical lenses and facts as given. Below are the facts that
Luke provides to you.


Luke has been asked to work on a project that involves developing land recently purchased by
ABC to build an adult entertainment retail store. According to the plan, the land is located on
the corner of the neighborhood where Owen, Luke’s brother, lives.
Luke knows that as soon as the plans for the store are made public, property values for the
surrounding neighborhood will decrease significantly. ABC plans to publicly announce the
project one month from today.
Luke is concerned about his obligations of confidentiality to his company. However, Luke is
also very close to Owen, who recently told Luke that he received an offer to sell his house at an
“okay” price given the current real estate market. Owen is considering selling but hasn’t made
any final decision yet. He wonders if he might get a better offer a few years from now when
the real estate market improves.
What is the ethical issue, why is this an issue, and what should Luke do about it?


For assignment 4, prepare a memo, setting out your analysis and recommendations, that
considers ONLY the following ethical lenses: Utilitarianism, Universal Ethics (i.e., Kant’s
categorical imperative), The Golden Rule and Virtue Ethics.
Remember that Assignments 2 and 3 are considered “drafts” for Assignment 4. In other
words, you may revise and reuse parts of Assignments 2 and 3 (facts, issues, description of
the ethical lenses) for Assignment 4, but please make sure that you make improvements
where indicated.
Page 2 of 2
Your analysis for Assignment 4 will be different since you’re incorporating all four theories
into your analysis. But you may reuse other elements of assignments 2 and 3 (facts, issues,
description of the ethical lenses) if they are written as well as you can write them.

Sample Solution