Virtue Ethics and Ethics of Care Essay

Words: 2363
Pages: 10

Fried Pataters
Mr. Hahn
Phil 2310
10 May 2010

Virtue Ethics and Ethics of Care Aristotle and Rita Manning both have different theories when it comes to ethics. Aristotle uses virtue ethics to answer questions about morality whereas Manning uses what is called ethics of caring to do the same thing. Virtue ethics claims people’s actions aim towards the highest good of happiness. From happiness, moral virtue stems from reasons governing the desires of the soul. Manning on the other hand believes that moral actions extend from people caring for one another on a personal level. By developing the ability to care for others, people become morally aware of how to act in certain situations. When the question of: “how ought I live my life?”
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Manning says “caring for involves acting in some appropriate way to respond to the needs of persons and animals… communities, values, or objects” (Manning 478). In order to fully care, people cannot just be committed to the idea of caring, but they must also act upon that commitment.
Developing the caring ability requires experience and practice in real situations. By learning how to care in situations, people will become better at caring and can apply their developed talents to different situations. Practice also allows people to take on different roles for different situations. Manning claims that different roles satisfy different needs that people have. For example, the role of a teacher cannot fulfill the needs that the role of a mother can. Since people are free to choose roles, people should therefore adopt roles with the need of the person they are caring for in mind. Along with adopting different roles, people should choose roles that will fully satisfy the needs of the individual. Some people are going to need more specific things and people are supposed to adapt as best they can to care for those in need. However, people are not required or obligated to respond to every possible need. People cannot physically care for the needs of everyone around them so they must choose those needs that are more serious than others. By choosing the more serious needs, the greatest amount of good will come out of the situation. People who are