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Virtue Ethics and the Concept of Action

Virtue Ethics and the Concept of Action

Ramon Das, “Virtue Ethics and the Concept of Action,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 1 (2020): 61–74,

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Virtue Ethics and the Concept of Action

Type Journal Article
Author Ramon Das
Rights © 2020 Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
Volume 76
Issue 1
Pages 61-74
Publication Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
ISSN 0870-5283
Date 2020
DOI 10.17990/RPF/2020_76_1_0061
Language English
Abstract This paper explores some parallels between the concept of action as it is deployed in two theoretical projects: constructing a virtue-ethical account of right action; and explaining human actions in (event) causal terms. Although one project is normative and the other non-normative, I argue that they face essentially the same fundamental challenge: both have a difficult time dealing with the familiar fact that persons have the ability to act out of character. For virtue ethics, this fact threatens to undermine its most distinctive account of what makes an action right, one that grounds rightness in virtuous character. For causal theories of action, it makes trouble for the idea that all human actions can be explained adequately within an event-causal framework.
Date Added 4/30/2020, 12:02:45 AM
Modified 4/30/2020, 11:34:06 AM


  • virtue ethics
  • action theory,
  • Donald Davidson,
  • right action,


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