Moral Reasoning

Moral Reasoning

A Chapter by Debbie Barry

n essay, written for PHI 103: Informal Logic.


Moral Reasoning



After reading and considering the five major perspectives on moral reasoning, I see that the virtue ethics perspective is most in line with my personal views.  I was brought up with the idea that it was necessary to be a person of good character.  I was taught that it is not only necessary to avoid doing wrong and causing wrong, but that it is also necessary to avoid doing things which give the impression of wrongdoing.

In virtue ethics, which comes from the ancient Greeks, the important thing is being, not doing.  It is about maintaining a middle ground between the extremes in every situation, and about making choices that maintain a constant, even balance in life.  By knowing their own limits and abilities, people are able to make the right choices in situations.  A person who follows virtual ethics chooses to be a person of good character, rather than concentrating on each single action.

My parents stressed the idea that Moore and Parker (2006) state in the text, that "virtue is a matter of habit ... a way of living" (p. 430).  Although I sometimes fall short of the goal, I do try to make virtue, or good character, I believe that keeping a calm, steady line in life is the best way to live.  By trying to maintain a good character, which includes personal integrity, dependability, and faith, I am more likely to make the right decisions when I am faced with choices.  There is a certain element of utilitarianism in my approach to moral reasoning, as well.  This involves "duties and obligations" (Moore and Parker, 2006, p. 426), which are part of integrity and of dependability.  It is necessary for a person to be true to his or her word, and to keep promises and commitments, if one is to have integrity.  When a person consistently keeps promises, that person is also dependable, and may be expected to make right choices in life.



Moore, B. N. and Parker, R.  (2006).  Critical Thinking (Custom 8th  ed.).  New York :      McGraw-Hill.

© 2017 Debbie Barry

Author's Note

Debbie Barry
Initial reactions and constructive criticism welcome.

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Added on November 10, 2017
Last Updated on November 10, 2017
Tags: essay, philosophy, informal logic, moral reasoning, morality

A Journey through My College Papers


Debbie Barry
Debbie Barry

Clarkston, MI

I live with my husband in southeastern Michigan with our two cats, Mister and Goblin. We enjoy exploring history through French and Indian War re-enactment and through medieval re-enactment in the So.. more..