i. Everyone may not be actually concerned with morality, but we all have reason to want our lives to go well. [!"Everyone has a reason to want their lives to go well" is not the same as "Everyone wants their lives to go well."!! I think everyone does, but the success of this argument does not depend on the empirical circumstances of people in the world.]
ii. Moral virtues are dispositions of character that equip us for living well and for doing well-for having a life worth living. [Even if external circumstances spoil our lives, moral virtues still will enable us to make the best of our lot.]
iii. Therefore, we have reason to acquire (therefore want) moral virtues; the "concerns of morality are of concern to those who have moral virtues." Whether we are in business or not!
Objection: wouldn't any particular conception of a life worth living be subjective, reflecting the particular views of whoever is answering it?
Answer: our concept of worthwhile living may be affected by our cultural views, but is not wholly determined by them. Core of morality is as constant as human nature and the basic necessities of life. There are certain constant factors that promote or spoil our chances in life. For example: Control of our fears (Courage). Control of our anger (Good temperedness).
Six basic characteristics:
i. A dispositional feature of character: it makes us good and do our jobs well-they affect our character, not just our lives. (They "actually engage the will"-moral virtues if possessed are (in the sense of must always be) used.) We can predict how a person possessing the virtue will act and react in different situations. [Unlike being sickly, 43 years old or married]
ii. Voluntarily acquired: we aren't born with them, but it is up to us to acquire them. As they are beneficial to us, we have as well reason to acquire them. [Someone who doesn't or even doesn't choose to acquire them is at least foolish, and may be bad. Unlike having perfect pitch or being good at holding liquor.]
iii. Involve acting with judgment: virtues blend emotion and judgment. The virtuous response is given generally, but each particular situation requires discernment about the appropriate response. They are "emotional perceptiveness"-involving "hitting the target," in the right way, at the right time, etc. [Unlike spelling or knowing who wrote Hamlet]
iv. Needed for living well: Without a virtue, our lifes would be spoiled. No one would choose a life without the virtues. [Unlike ability to play chess]
v. Pervasively relevant to all roles in life: central in all areas
of life. [Unlike being able to swim or sing in tune]
vi. Involve acting with a proper motive: you cannot exercise a virtue for the wrong motive. Some motives, like greed, malice, spite, envy, are completely incompatible with virtue. [Unlike being curious, shy or energetic]
Executive virtues: require to bring about action appropriately.
The two dimensions for living well (two dimensions of goods and evils in life): social and aspirational.
Social: traits that dispose us to be peaceable, able to understand, cherish, and uphold each other's rights: justice (honesty, loyalty, fairness) and humanity.
Aspirational values: promote inner peace of mind, the sense that one has something to live for...: sensibility, ambition or enthusiasm, modesty (self-knowledge)
A PROBLEM FOR THIS ACCOUNT: IS A GOOD BUSINESS PERSON THE SAME AS A GOOD PERSON? (Is business life compatible with the moral life?) This will be taken up in Chapter 6.