The remedy for our democracy deficit is to devolve as much power as possible to the local level. Many problems can be addressed only on the state, federal and international level, but the idea is that participating in local politics teaches citizens how to speak in public, negotiate with others, research policy issues, and learn about their community and the larger circles in which it is embedded. Like any other skill, the way to become a better citizen is to practise citizenship.
As my Ethics class approaches the end of the semester, there is now an ongoing conversation with my students about whether morality is based upon objective facts or not. I defend that it is, as virtue theory understands that.
So, today I enjoyed reading this good essay on Philippa Foot and how she and other like Elizabeth Anscombe and Iris Murdoch rescued philosophy from emotivism and existentialist ethics by insisting that the virtues describe something real.
I delighted in this sentence from the essay, "To say that vice is a natural defect is not an answer to any question; it is simply a way of interpreting the question, of telling us where we should be looking."
So often students wrestle with virtue theory because they expect some set of rules to tell them how to decide ethical matters, rather than the more complex and nuanced activity of character formation.