Vol. 38 No. 2 (2018): Virtue Ethics

Good People with Bad Principles

Howard J. Curzer
Professor, Texas Tech University

Published 2018-12-18


  • justice,
  • virtue,
  • role virtue,
  • civic virtue

How to Cite

Good People with Bad Principles. (2018). Teoria. Rivista Di Filosofia, 38(2), 79-89. https://doi.org/10.4454/teoria.v38i2.46


Right now many countries seem quite divided about justice. Since the two sides hold incompatible principles, at least one side must be holding the wrong principles. To have bad principles, and to feel and act upon them reliably without regret or reconsideration, is vice. Yet we all know people on both sides of the political divide whom we consider virtuous. This poses a challenge for virtue ethics. How can people with bad principles of justice be good people?