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Document Details :
Title: Virtue Ethics and Sexual Ethics
Author(s): KEENAN, James F.
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 30 Issue: 3 Date: Fall 2005
Sexual ethics is often written in the key of an action based ethics, wherein we describe actions as morally right or wrong, e.g., masturbation, homosexual activity, etc. Here we consider sexual ethics in the key of virtue, that is, a relational person based ethics. Following from Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas, we can discern the rightness or wrongness of actions after we discern the type of morally right people we should become. Though inevitably chastity is raised as the virtue for right sexual dispositions, we add here four others: justice, fidelity, self-care and prudence. Moreover, in a Catholic based virtue ethics, these four virtues are informed by mercy. These claims and their applications are explored in the essay.