Virtue, Vice and Value by Thomas Hurka

Here is a really meaty read in moral philosophy. It asks what are virtue and vice, and how do they relate to other moral properties such as goodness and rightness?

Thomas Hurka, Professor of Philosophy at Toronto, ( defends a distinctive ‘perfectionist’ ( view according to which the virtues are higher-level intrinsic goods, ones that involve morally appropriate attitudes to other, independent goods and evils. He develops this highly original view in detail and argues for its superiority over rival views, including those given by virtue ethics. A challenging but really satisfying read.

To get a flavour of Hurka’s thinking listen to the 15 minute ‘Philosophy Bites’ podcast on one of the human values he is interested in – namely pleasure. He has some very fine discriminations to make on the subject. Click on

288 pages in Oxford University Press

First published 1 June 2003

ISBN 978-0195158656

Thomas Hurka

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