Oral Presentation Australasian Association of Bioethics & Health Law and New Zealand Bioethics Conference

Good people exist: how is that possible? (1088)

Mary Butler 1
  1. School of Occupational Therapy, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

Virtue ethics manifest in various ways. In different cultures, the virtues have been expressed through confucianism in China, through yoga in India and through tikanga in Te Ao Maori. One interpretation of virtue ethics considers that goodness is enacted in practices. The virtue of a builder is demonstrated in the building of a good house;  a good doctor applies themselves in ways  that bring about health for a patient. How does a person become good then? The flourishing of the individual practitioner is crucial to the development of the practice. Our practices are  ethical sources. They are sites where aspects of the good are disclosed to us as well as the primary scene of our ethical education. In this paper, I explore that the practice of virtue is intrinsic to the way that occupational therapists understand an assessment of doing. I argue further that this form of assessment can also be enacted as a research method. These arguments are traced through the practices of walking and dance. In these examples the goodness of an individual can be recognisably intertwined with the practices that they engage in.