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Returning to Virtue Theory: Some Problems and Challenges

Author: SAMUEL ZINAICH, JR.
Published in GVER, Vol. 5 No. 4

Recent illicit activity among professionals, politicians, and specifically among members of
the business community has made scholars skeptical of the viability of traditional consequential
and deontological theories. To correct this problem many advocate a return to virtue theory, a
theory that focuses on character development and not just upon normative status of actions.
Although such a return appears to have the tide of victory in its favor, it is necessary to make sure
that there is well-authenticated evidence for such a return. Otherwise, how will we know whether
we are just replacing one bad theory with another? In fact, in this essay, after I examine the
metaphysical machinery needed for such a return, I argue that virtue theory has gone into
bankruptcy, and therefore, unless we can find a different foundation, it is a flawed doctrine to
preach now.

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