R. M. Adams

Words: 4104
Pages: 17

1) What are motivational and structural vices, as Adams proposes them?

R. M. Adams says, “Unfortunately, the nature of moral goodness can hardly be understood without some attention to the nature of moral badness” (Adams 36). That is why he considers it important to outline the main peculiarities of bad traits to juxtapose them to good ones and thus reveal the contrast between them. Virtues are good traits of character, and vices are bad ones. R.M. Adams offers a working definition of a vice as “…a trait that counts against the overall excellence of the way you are for and against goods and evils” (Adams 36). It should be noted, that the author considers goodness as a more fundamental category, that is why he analyses the notions of badness and vice not individually but rather in their relation to goodness and virtue. Furthermore, his understanding of vices does not always rest on the
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Adams further develops the thought of Aristotle’s agreeing that virtues are of the highest priority in the society as the pillars for the life of the entire state. Moreover, he lists the crucial virtues a democratic society should live up to. They include “public spirit, honesty, reasonableness, tolerance, fairness and respect for generally good laws” (Adams 52). The author juxtaposes the importance of the adherence to virtues established in a democratic state and the desired outcomes that may arise in the time of conflicts. He concludes that if “civic virtues” (Adams 52) are really treasured by the people of a particular state for the sake of the virtues themselves and virtues activities rather than being only “valued instrumentally”, they help every community to preserve their unity, tolerance and respectful attitude to all, even opposing, opinions concentrating on the virtues and not being focused on the