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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

romance and mystery of the narrative. This suggestion is enhanced by Nabokov’s use of the French language throughout the novel, which both relates to the autobiographical elements of the novel as both Nabokov and his monstrous narrator were highly educated and academic Europeans and creates a romantically academic façade of Humbert’s character. Such references, ‘comme, vous le savez trop bien, ma gentille’, are commonly concerning Lolita, and the inability of the common reader to understand his foreign narration furthers the seductive and private nature of the relationship while also heightening the romanticism and idealisation of their love. As a consequence, it is evident that the Nabokov’s use of elaborate and academically advanced language encourages the reader to accept the unreliable narrator. Furthermore, one might suggest that the reader is encouraged to sympathise and identify with Nabokov’s monstrous male hero in Lolita as a result of the consistent involvement and flattering language directed towards the reader, which enables them to identify and form a relationship with Humbert and provoke positive reinforcement towards such acceptance. Clearly, the reader is encouraged to become involved with Humbert’s narrative, with references to the ‘learned reader’ and ‘astute reader’ which show the enthusiasm of Nabokov to encourage the reader to identify with his narrator. The protagonist is evidently conscious of his readership, reflecting his confident and assured nature as he refers to the reader is part of an intellectual group, calling them ‘unbiased’ to imply that they are open-minded and accepting – and aiding the forming of a relationship between the narratee and narrator to show their likeminded nature and justify Humbert’s actions. Additionally, the possessive pronoun in the phrase ‘my patient reader’ by the end of part one of the text highlights the reader’s acceptance of the narrator, while the continuing complimentary language reflects Humbert’s persuasive and manipulative manner which is concealed beneath the reader’s reaction of flattery and fondness. Within the novel, the reader is encouraged to take an active part in the discourse, undermining the character of Lolita as disabling her ability to gain empathy. Nabokov creates distance between the reader and Lolita, ‘whose meek temper Lo ought to have copied’ which is suggestive of the similarity and compatibility the narrator intends to evoke between Humbert and the narratee, while they are disassociated with Lolita’s suffering. Similarly, frequent addresses to the jury throughout the text imply the central issue of Humbert’s guilt, seen through the phrases ‘winged gentlemen of the jury’ and ‘ladies and gentlemen of the jury’, which put the narrator in a position to be judged and allow him to familiarise himself with the reader in ord
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