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Virtues and Humanitarian Ethics
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Studies in Faith and Ideologies, Ethics.
2016 (English)In: Disasters. The Journal of Disaster Studies, Policy and Management, ISSN 0361-3666, E-ISSN 1467-7717Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper analyses the contribution of virtue ethics, the study of good character traits, to the humanitarian context. It argues that a virtue ethics perspective paints a realistic picture of the use of ethical standards in morally complex circumstances. Virtuous relief workers can employ standards in their thinking, but they are also committed to professional excellence that goes beyond any formal code. The concept of virtue ethics places a stress on moral development, which can be facilitated by role models that impart modest and feasible ideals. However, virtue ethics cannot provide simple guidelines on how to resolve difficult situations. It is possible that two virtuous persons can disagree on what should be done in a particular instance. In addition, a virtue ethics perspective emphasises the need for both individuals and organisations to discuss the actual purpose of relief work in order to pinpoint the virtues of a good relief professional.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell , 2016.
Keyword [en]
code of conduct, humanitarian, relief, virtues, ethics, moral dilemma, standards, moral principles, role models, training
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Ethics
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-245801DOI: 10.1111/disa.12191OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-245801DiVA: diva2:791535
Available from: 2015-03-01 Created: 2015-03-01 Last updated: 2016-07-20Bibliographically approved

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