Date of Award

Summer 2011

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Philosophy and Religion

Committee Chair

Samuel Bruton

Committee Chair Department

Philosophy and Religion

Committee Member 2

Morgan Rempel

Committee Member 2 Department

Philosophy and Religion

Committee Member 3

David Holley

Committee Member 3 Department

Philosophy and Religion


This thesis is on the virtue ethics of Stanley Hauerwas, with particular focus on the role of moral exemplars in his theory. Hauerwas emphasizes the role of what are called "moral exemplars" in his virtue ethics. These are people or characters of narratives that best exemplify virtue. A theory is exemplarist if the moral concepts of the theory are defined in reference to an exemplary person, moral knowledge is gained from knowledge of an exemplar, and moral exemplars are necessary for one's learning to be moral. This definition reflects the three types of roles exemplars could play in a moral theory. They can play theoretical, epistemological, or pedagogical roles. Hauerwas' moral theory is exemplarist in the fullest sense of the term - Jesus being the supreme moral exemplar for Hauerwas. My thesis is that an exemplarist moral theory like Hauerwas' needs to give a prominent theoretical, epistemological and pedagogical role to moral principles as well as exemplars. 11

Included in

Philosophy Commons