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On Virtue Ethics$
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Rosalind Hursthouse

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247998

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199247994.001.0001

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Irresolvable and Tragic Dilemmas

Irresolvable and Tragic Dilemmas

(p.63) 3 Irresolvable and Tragic Dilemmas
On Virtue Ethics

Rosalind Hursthouse (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Are there any irresolvable dilemmas? If there are any, then action guidance, in such cases, is not possible. However, action assessment is still not only possible, but needed—and virtue ethics can provide a particularly satisfying account of the differences between unworrying, distressing, and genuinely tragic irresolvable dilemmas, the latter being those from which even the most virtuous agent cannot emerge with her life unmarred. Resolvable dilemmas may also be tragic in this sense.

Keywords:   action assessment, irresolvable dilemmas, moral dilemma, tragic dilemmas, virtue ethics

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