On Relationality in Virtue Ethics: Accounting for Injustices in a Global Context

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Hoult, Andrew




This thesis utilizes a virtue ethics framework to engage with the effects of global oppression and injustice on the selves of moral agents to provide an account of how to be virtuous in our non-ideal world. I outline several virtue ethics frameworks and highlight Lisa Tessman’s account in Burdened Virtues (2005). Her account analyzes the harms of oppression in new ways. I outline four criticisms of her account and respond to each by arguing for an enhanced virtue ethics framework that incorporates a relational conception of the self. Through the understanding of human beings as fundamentally relational and interdependent, I provide an account of virtue ethics that moves beyond Tessman’s. I argue for the sorts of virtues that emerge from this account, including the virtue of responsibility and an enhanced practical reasoning. These virtues assist agents to respond to others in morally appropriate ways and ensure collective well-being.






Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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