Aristotle (c. mid 4th century) Nicomachean Ethics, trans.
Ross, revised by J.
Urmson, ed. and revised by J.
Barnes in The Complete Works of Aristotle, vol. 2, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984.
(Generally accepted as the most considered statement of his position. For secondary works, see Broadie (1991) and Sherman (1989) below.)
Baier, A.C. (1991) A Progress of Sentiments: reflections on Hume’s Treatise, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
(A thoughtful consideration of Hume’s moral philosophy, useful on the relations between virtue and sentiment.)
Broadie, S. (1991) Ethics with Aristotle, New York: Oxford University Press.
(A notably subtle and philosophically helpful commentary.)
Crisp, R. and Slote, M. (1997) Virtue Ethics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
(A helpful collection of papers.)
Flanagan, O. (1991) Varieties of Moral Personality: Ethics and Psychological Realism, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
(Relates the moral psychology of various ethical positions to empirical material.)
French, P.A., Uehling, T.E. and Wettstein, H.K. (1988) Ethical Theory: Character and Virtue, Midwest Studies in Philosophy, vol. 13, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
(A useful collection of papers on contemporary virtue theory.)
Hume, D. (1751) An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, in Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals, ed.
Selby-Bigge, revised by P.H.
Nidditch, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 3rd edn, 1975.
(A more compact, though also less searching, account than book III of A Treatise on Human Nature (1739–40). Appendix IV discusses the idea of ‘moral’ virtue.)
MacIntyre, A. (1981) After Virtue, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
(An influential, negative, assessment of modern moral ideas in contrast to Aristotelian and medieval virtue theory.)
Mandeville, B. (1714) The Fable of the Bees: or, Private Vices, Publick Benefits, ed.
Kaye, Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, 1988.
(The work was first intended as a political satire, but has been seen as offering a serious case for private vices turned into public benefits.)
Nietzsche, F. (1886) Jenseits von Gut und Böse, trans.
Hollingdale, Beyond Good and Evil, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1990.
(Considers, among many other things, the ‘faith in opposing values’.)
Nietzsche, F. (1887) Zur Genealogie der Moral, trans.
Diethe, On the Genealogy of Morality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
(A powerfully influential study, phenomenological rather than historical, of moral values – including, importantly, the passion for truthfulness which motivates the work itself.)
Plato (c.395–387) Gorgias, trans.
Zeyl, Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, 1987.
(His most dramatic and radical enquiry into scepticism about the virtues.)
Plato (c.380–367) Republic, trans.
Grube, revised by C.D.C.
Reeve, Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, 1992.
(His fullest account, political as well as ethical, of the nature and value of the virtues.)
Sherman, N. (1989) The Fabric of Character: Aristotle’s Theory of Virtue, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
(A useful philosophical and interpretative discussion.)
Westberg, D. (1994) Right Practical Reason, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
(A discussion of practical reason and virtue in Aquinas.)