Undergraduate Module Descriptor

PHL3013: Virtues and Vices

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.


NQF Level6
Credits15 ECTS Value7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Edward Skidelsky (Lecturer)





Available via distance learning


This module is an introduction to the tradition in moral philosophy known as “virtue ethics”. It investigates the concepts of virtue and vice in general and also some specific virtues and vices. In the first part, we look at some well-known questions about the concept of virtue: What is a virtue? What is the relation of virtue ethics to other styles of ethical theory? Can the virtues be taught? Can they be codified? Do the virtues benefit their possessor? Can an individual possess one virtue but not others? In the second part of the course, we go on to analyse some specific virtues and vices, including the four cardinal virtues and the economic, sexual and military virtues and vices. 

Module created

January 2013

Last revised