First Advisor

Doty, Steve

Second Advisor

Anchordoquy, Hannah


Regis College

Degree Name



Regis College Senior Honors Program

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

107 pages


John Rawls, in his book Justice as Fairness, spends a great deal of time setting up a system of basic liberties to ensure justice within our society. In my thesis, I suggest that rules and objectivity alone are not enough to ensure the moral integrity of society as a whole or the social practices that comprise it. Instead, we ought to first focus on the development of subjective individual character traits so that we can actually understand the function and authority of rules. As an example of how character development ought to proceed, I turn to the practice of modem medicine, which has a very unique perspective on the function of rules and objective perspectives. The objective perspective at work in medicine is known as Disease Theory, which essentially objectively classifies individuals based on their bodily affliction. I argue that this theory and the objectivity inherent to it do not properly treat the suffering of individual persons. Therefore, I turn to Alasdair MacIntyre and his conception of Virtue Theory in order to formulate a proper conduct for individuals within a social practice. This leads to the formulation of five necessary virtues that must be possessed by the modem physician in order to treat patient suffering.

Date of Award

Fall 2009

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

Rights Statement

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