more from Daniel Statman

Single Idea 7100

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / d. Virtue theory critique]

Full Idea

It can be claimed that universality is a necessary property of any ethical theory and therefore virtue theory, which fails in this respect, is not a theory, and hence poses no alternative to genuine ethical theories.

Gist of Idea

Virtue theory isn't a genuine ethical theory, because it doesn't have universal application


Daniel Statman (Introduction to Virtue Ethics [1997], 5)

Book Reference

'Virtue Ethics', ed/tr. Statman,Daniel [Edinburgh 1997], p.20

A Reaction

Replies: a) totally universal morality is an idle dream (part of the 'Enlightenment Project' to prove everything) and we must settle for something more relative; b) virtues aren't totally universal, but they are truths about humanity. I prefer b).