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Volume 47 • Number 2

April 2009



An Aristotelian Critique of the Traditional Family

by Howard J. Curzer

Virtue ethics has been criticized for having little or nothing to say about contemporary moral issues. However, virtue ethics can address contemporary moral issues by evaluating social practices and institutions. Nor is virtue ethics limited to the politically conservative uses to which some theorists (following Alasdair MacIntyre) have put it. Indeed, virtue ethics can be a powerful engine for social progress. To illustrate, this paper will develop an Aristotelian critique of the white, middle-class, heterosexual American traditional family. The paper's critique will have the fringe benefit of providing a basis for criticizing the choice of those who voluntarily opt for such families.

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ISSN: 2152-1123