Synopses & Reviews
In this book, Slote offers the first full-scale foundational account of virtue ethics to have appeared since the recent revival of interest in the ethics of virtue. Slote advocates a particular form of such ethics for its intuitive and structural advantages over Kantianism, utilitarianism, and common-sense morality, and he argues that the problems of other views can be avoided and a contemporary plausible version of virtue ethics achieved only by abandoning specifically moral concepts for general aretaic notions like admirability and virtue. Although this study is not bound by particular Aristotelian doctrines, it places an Aristotelian emphasis on both self-benefiting and other-benefiting virtues. Slote criticizes Kantian and common-sense morality for internal incoherencies and for downgrading the moral individual and her well-being in some previously unnoticed ways. By contrast, this book defends a distinctive, intuitive, and symmetric ethical principle according to which we should balance self-concern with concern for others, but it also concludes that there is, contrary to utilitarianism, no single basis for status as a virtue nor any simple relation between the virtues and human well-being.
"This book draws on...[Slote's] earlier ones, but it also advances many new and important arguments of its own. Indeed, it is rich enough to confirm Slote's status as one of the most important contemporary moral philosophers....As a whole, the book amounts to a defence of virtue ethics, but it is as important for its discussions of the other theories mentioned as it is for its development of virtue theory itself."--Mind
"From Morality to Virtue...does important work...in helping to bring into constructive engagement thinking about the virtues with that on moral theory, and conversely. Given the decided lack of interaction between these two traditions, this is much to be praised."--Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
"In presenting a systematic working out of what a virtue ethics would look like, Michael Slote has managed to meet a sceptical challenge to the whole enterprise. This is an important achievement since he has shown that in order to take the virtues seriously, one needn't treat them as peripheral to one's core moral theory; nor need one go the way of the anti-theorists. For this reason, From Morality to Virtue represents a step forward in virtue ethics."--Nous
"Slote's book provides a much-needed systematic study of the overall structure of virtue ethics and its relation to other theories and develops his own original version of virtue ethics as a foundational theory. It is sure to begin a far more vigorous and incisive debate about virtue ethics than we have had hitherto."--Julia Annas, University of Arizona
"Slote provides us with a view of ethics which enables us to ask better questions than we would otherwise be able to do both about the areas in which modern ethics is or could be hospitable to ancient concepts and about the areas in which it has broken its ties with its ancient predecessors more radically. He has written an excellent book."--Ancient Philosophy