Graduation Year


Date of Submission


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Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Alex Rajczi

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Throughout my experience as a student of philosophy these past four years, the philosophy that has interested me the most has been that which gives us something to take back to daily life or the ‘real world’ with us. As a result, I've been strongly drawn to ethics and pulled into the debate between the three main schools of ethics — virtue ethics, deontology, and consequentialism, with a strong affinity for virtue ethics, especially the ideas of Aristotle.

The question that I am exploring in this paper is if there is something unique about Aristotle’s virtue ethics compared to the seminal philosophers of the other two schools of ethics -- John Stuart Mill for utilitarian consequentialism and Immanuel Kant for deontology -- such that my intuition is explained. By the end of this paper I intend to convince the reader that there is in fact something special about Aristotle’s virtue ethics as an approach to ethics that the other two ethical theories fail to capture.

In Chapter One I will examine how these three theories treat morality and self interest through what I call the problem of convergence. In Chapter Two of this paper I will discuss Pierre Hadot’s concept of philosophy as a way of life, and in Chapter Three, I will discuss the works of Gilbert Ryle on the subject of morality as caring.