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INTRODUCTION: VIRTUE AND VICE

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Abstract: This introduction to the collection Virtue and Vice, Moral and Epistemic addresses three main questions: (1) What is a virtue theory in ethics or epistemology? (2) What is a virtue? and (3) What is a vice? (1) It suggests that a virtue theory takes the virtues and vices of agents to be more fundamental than evaluations of acts or beliefs, and defines right acts or justified beliefs in terms of the virtues. (2) It argues that there are two important but different concepts of virtue: virtues are qualities that attain good ends, and virtues are qualities that involve good motives. (3) Accordingly, vices are qualities that either fail to attain good ends or involve bad motives. Finally, the introduction summarizes the eleven essays in the collection, which are divided into four sections: the Structure of Virtue Ethics and Virtue Epistemology; Virtue and Context; Virtue and Emotion; and Virtues and Vices.

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