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Virtue Ethics

5. Becoming Good

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about how we might acquire those virtues that we don’t already have, focusing on Aristotle’s theory that virtue is a habit that can be learned and gained through practice.


In this course, Dr Iain Law (University of Birmingham) thinks about virtue ethics, one of the three major normative ethical theories alongside utilitarianism and Kantian deontological ethics. We begin in the first module by providing a broad introduction to what virtue ethics actually is. After that, we turn to three methods of deciding what the virtues actually are: (i) the doctrine of the mean; (ii) the function argument, and (iii) the concept of eudaimonia. In the fifth module, we think about Aristotle’s views on how we might go about becoming more virtuous, before turning in the sixth and seventh modules to the arguments of two contemporary virtue ethicists: Iris Murdoch and Alasdair MacIntyre.


Iain Law is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Birmingham. His main interests are in meta-ethics, applied ethics and ethical theory, and he is currently working on papers in moral theory, moral psychology, the philosophy of medicine and applied ethics.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Law, I. (2018, September 03). Virtue Ethics - Becoming Good [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Law, I. "Virtue Ethics – Becoming Good." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 03 Sep 2018,