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Virtues and Practices:Internal and External goods

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After reading MacIntyre’s account of practices and virtue and watching the associated videos, outline a practice in your own life that you believe requires the virtues in order to be successful. Explain what the practice is and what makes it a practice, according to MacIntyre’s definition.  Explain what the “internal goods” of the practice are, and how they differ from certain “external goods”, and explain how the possession or lack of the virtues makes a difference to one’s attainment of these internal goods.

Finally, think back to the week 1 discussion of the “Ring of Gyges” story from Plato’s Republic.  How might the distinction between internal and external goods bear on the decision about whether and how to use the ring; for example, would it help or hinder the attainment of the goods you identified?  (Hint: think about the connection between Groundhog Day and the Ring of Gyges story, and what Phil’s transformation might suggest about the relative importance of internal vs. external goods.)

MacIntyre, Alasdair. After Virtue, 







1.     Hill, T. (1983). Ideals of human excellence and preserving natural environments. Journal of Environmental Ethics, 5(3), 211-24. Retrieved from

o   This article attempts to outline a response to the problem of environmental preservation through the lens of virtue ethics. Hill utilizes virtue ethics to examine how people ought to respond to the environment and how others might be able to judge their actions through the lens of the virtues that they display.

2.     Robinson, P. (2007). Magnanimity and integrity as military virtues. Journal of Military Ethics, 6(4), 259-269. Retrieved from the EBSCOhost database.

o   This article relates to the second applied ethics topic this week: military ethics. In this article, Robinson examines military ethics through the lens of virtue and argues for a re-evaluation of military virtues.

3.     Zúñiga y Postigo, G. (2013). How to write an argumentative essay [Unpublished work]. College of Liberal Arts, Ashford University, Clinton, IA.

o   This document explains how students can effectively present a philosophical argument.

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