Date of Award

Fall 12-13-2018

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Classics, Philosophy, and Religion

Department Chair or Program Director

Vasey, Craig

First Advisor

Ambuel, David

Second Advisor

Matzke, Jason

Third Advisor

Reno, Michael

Major or Concentration



Virtue ethics is fundamentally different from deontology and consequentialism. This paper goes in depth with discussions about all three theories, including advantages and disadvantages. I maintain that virtue ethics is superior to both deontology and consequentialism. Primarily, a worthwhile conception of virtue ethics would be intuitive and allow widespread trust and genuineness among people. This is so because of virtue ethics’ emphasis on the agent instead of the act. Although these theories are meant to do different things, virtue ethics can encompass many positive aspects of deontology and consequentialism and put them to good use as tools for decision-making. This specifically refers to deontology’s focus on duty and consequentialism’s focus on consequences fitting with virtue ethics’ focus on the development of character through accordance with the virtues. Problems that may be raised against virtue ethics, including the potential for circularity, are discussed, as well as responses.