Virtue ethics teaches that an action is right if and only if it is an action that a virtuous person would do in the same circumstances, and that a virtuous person is someone who has a particularly good character. In the West virtue ethics was the prevailing approach to ethical thinking in the ancient and medieval periods.
One common criticism is that it is hard to estabilish what is virtueous, the nature of virtues as it is very contextual.
Another objection to virtue theory is that the school does not focus on what sorts of actions are morally permitted and which ones are not, but rather on what sort of qualities someone ought to foster in order to become a good person. In other words, while some virtue theorists may not condemn, for example, murder as an inherently immoral or impermissible sort of action, they may argue that someone who commits a murder is severely lacking in several important virtues, such as compassion and fairness.