Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: October 22, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956260 | Print ISBN: 9781412916523 | Online ISBN: 9781412956260| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ivan Marquez & Robert Frederick
A vice is a serious moral flaw in a person's character. Thus, vices are not trivial personal failings, or minor personality defects, or occasional lapses in behavior, but enduring traits that cause people repeatedly to act in morally deplorable ways. Examples of vice include intemperance, ungratefulness, dishonesty, cowardice, disloyalty, greed, unfairness, and malice. Yet if vices are serious flaws, and so, one would think, to be avoided if at all possible, why does vice seem so common? One possibility is that vice is a part of human nature. We are, regrettably, morally flawed beings, and though we may resist, in the end vice is an inevitable part of human behavior. It is just a part of who we are. Although this possibility has the apparent advantage of explaining the prevalence of vice, it suffers from the disadvantage of having no ready account of the presence of virtue. Vice may be ...