FIRST ONE (Minimum 750 words using the references attached)
VIRTUES AND PRACTICES
After reading MacIntyre’s account of practices and virtue and watching the associated videos, outline a practice in your own life that you believe requires the virtues in order to be successful. Explain what the practice is and what makes it a practice, according to MacIntyre’s definition. Explain what the “internal goods” of the practice are, and how they differ from certain “external goods”, and explain how the possession or lack of the virtues makes a difference to one’s attainment of these internal goods.
Finally, think back to the week 1 discussion of the “Ring of Gyges” story from Plato’s Republic. How might the distinction between internal and external goods bear on the decision about whether and how to use the ring; for example, would it help or hinder the attainment of the goods you identified? (Hint: think about the connection between Groundhog Day and the Ring of Gyges story, and what Phil’s transformation might suggest about the relative importance of internal vs. external goods.)
MacIntyre, Alasdair. After Virtue,
SECOND ONE (Minimum 750 words using the references attached)
HABIT OF VIRTUE
An important aspect of Aristotle’s virtue ethics is the idea that virtues are “habits” that we acquire over time, and like any habit, virtues affect not just what we do, but our desires and emotions as well.
Focusing on either Hill’s article or Robinson’s article, how might the possession or lack of the virtues make a difference to our attitudes and actions toward the environment or within the context of the military (focus your discussion on just one of those, but feel free to discuss the other in reply to other people’s posts)? For example, you might think about the difference between someone who has the virtues vs. someone who thinks solely in utilitarian terms or solely in terms of duty. You might also refer back to the discussions of animal ethics or military ethics from week 2.
Compare this with other, more familiar habits in your life, and how good and bad habits can have an effect on how one acts and feels beyond simply “knowing” what’s right or wrong.
1. Hill, T. (1983). Ideals of human excellence and preserving natural environments. Journal of Environmental Ethics, 5(3), 211-24. Retrieved from http://www.umweltethik.at/download.php?id=403
o This article attempts to outline a response to the problem of environmental preservation through the lens of virtue ethics. Hill utilizes virtue ethics to examine how people ought to respond to the environment and how others might be able to judge their actions through the lens of the virtues that they display.
2. Robinson, P. (2007). Magnanimity and integrity as military virtues. Journal of Military Ethics, 6(4), 259-269. Retrieved from the EBSCOhost database.
o This article relates to the second applied ethics topic this week: military ethics. In this article, Robinson examines military ethics through the lens of virtue and argues for a re-evaluation of military virtues.
3. Zúñiga y Postigo, G. (2013). How to write an argumentative essay [Unpublished work]. College of Liberal Arts, Ashford University, Clinton, IA.
o This document explains how students can effectively present a philosophical argument.
1. Albert, T. (Producer), & Ramis, H. (Director). (1993). Groundhog day [Motion picture]. United States: Columbia Pictures.
o This classic film follows the life of a man who is trapped in the same day. He cannot escape, and he must figure out how to live and keep himself sane as he wakes up to the same day every morning. The main character struggles with questions about life’s meaning and the importance of the ways that people live their lives as he attempts to escape the monotony of repetitive existence.
**Please be aware you need to stream, buy, or rent Groundhog Day (Week Four) in order to successfully complete this course.
2. Wingclips. (n.d.). The bridge on the river Kwai [Movie clip]. Retrieved from http://www.wingclips.com/movie-clips/the-bridge-on-the-river-kwai/the-best-bridge
o In this clip from the film, which is set during World War II, a group of British Army prisoners of war are building a bridge for their Japanese captors. The Colonel expresses the significance of character in the life of the soldier.
3. Wingclips. (n.d.). The emperor’s club [Movie clip]. Retrieved from http://www.wingclips.com/movie-clips/the-emperors-club/who-we-really-are
o The clip from this film relates to cheating and the relationship between cheating and one’s moral character. It also explores responses to virtue ethics and the relationship between virtue and success.
1. Berry, W. (2003). Art of the commonplace: The agrarian essays. Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint Press. Retrieved from the ebrary database.
o While the whole text is excellent, you might want to start with the essays “The Unsettling of America,” “Agrarian Economics,” and “The Body and the Earth.” Berry’s essays focus on the relationships that exist between the human, nature, and society. He examines agrarianism and his works include ideas about how to live virtuously in a world that is becoming more distant from nature.
2. Wirzba, N. (Ed.). (2010). Essential agrarian reader: The future of culture, community, and the land. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky. Retrieved from the ebrary database.
o It is a collection of classic essays in the history of agrarianism. The “Introduction” is a good place to start here. These essays deal with the place for humanity in the natural world while also attempting to define an ethically virtuous life within that world.
1. Mercola. (2012, Aug. 1). Dr. Mercola and Joel Alatin discuss water and manure at polyface farm [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gBwCQspdwo
o In this video, Joel Salatin and Dr. Joseph Mercola examine the relationship between irrigation and fertilization on a farm and the virtues of the farmer as he or she tries to create a healthy farm. Transcript
2. Mercola. (2012, Aug. 1). Dr. Mercola discusses pigs with Joel Salatin at polyface farm [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjBtZxlkEDw
o Joel Salatin discusses ethical treatment of pigs and the relationship that exists between pigs, land, soil, and biodiversity in an ecosystem. He also examines the responsibility of the virtuous farmer in relation to allowing these relationships to exist in harmony with one another. Transcript
3. Moyer, B. (Interviewer), & Berry, W. (Interviewee). (2013). Wendell Berry on his hopes for humanity [Video file]. Retrieved from http://billmoyers.com/segment/wendell-berry-on-his-hopes-for-humanity/
o In this interview, Bill Moyer interviews the great agrarian writer and poet Wendell Berry. Berry’s expresses ideas that relate to the virtues of a life lived well, one in which the human regains its place in nature and finds peace and hope.
4. USDA NRCS ENT SC. (2012, Sep. 20). Under cover farmers – feature length [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWXCLVCJWTU
o This short film follows farmers as they begin using cover crops in their planting. Cover crops are offseason crops that farmers plant that they then later plant through when they plant their cash crops. This video demonstrates new methods of farming that enhance production through diversification and conservation of the soil. As it relates to virtue, farmers appear to be learning how to work their lands to enhance the health of the soil and this in turn leads to higher levels of flourishing in relation to production as well as overall farm health