Robert Merrihew Adam’s A Theory of Virtue describes ‘being for’ something as multiple aspects rather than just being in favor of the good. Being for something includes “loving it, liking it, respecting it, wanting it, wishing for it, appreciating it, thinking highly of it, speaking in favor it, intentionally standing for it symbolically, acting to promote or protect it and being disposed to do such things” (Adams P. 15-16). The being for something involves more of the action approach because what Adams mentions is actions and intentions towards the good. According to Adams being for something is an intentional state in which one must have the actions, attitude, the means, time as well as the disposition to carry out what the person’s intentions are. For example, if a person is for equal rights then they would have the mindset, attitude and pursue actions in relation to them believing in equal rights and making their intentions clear. The person would have gone through a long-lasting psychological alignment, and their intentional state would have to take time to develop the right actions and attitudes that are demonstrated regarding life or moral goodness and virtue. Adams remarks that in the case of being for something does not have correlation for being its cause as in the example with the virus not being for the disease. That seems to be an irrelevant and unnecessary aspect to it.
Being for something that is good requires that your belief applies in favor of action, desire, emotion or feeling and engage the will. The cognitive states such as belief, assents and outlooks can be a part of ‘being for’ if they can engage the will. Engaging the will can mean following through with your belief and aim to follow through with your intentions regarding your belief. The outlook, agreement, and belief in the stance of something thought to be significant contributors to moral virtue. A person of remarkable virtue such as the woman in Adam’s example shows virtue in ways of ‘being for’ things that are good as she has the attitude showing gratefulness, pleasure in other’s good news, displeasure in other’s misfortune and appreciativeness. Her outlook and view on the positives of life show the moral virtue and traits of good character. The cognitive states apply to the psychological properties to influence the excellence and virtue. Virtuous people who relate to being morally good people can be described as having dispositions associated with the goal, in the end, to do good in other words being for good. Adam mentions less active dimensions of virtue which are the deeds of people not considered heroes demonstrating virtuous behavior and actions that are for the good whether if it be standing up and promoting their beliefs, wishing for it, wanting it and acting in favor of it in every aspect.
Adam defines being for something as believing in something good or right or honorable. Our cognitive state can be affected by lopsided judgment such as the bad outlook of a person or putting our own values in the means of virtue which may be selfish. One’s disposition is considered in being for something such as emotions, desire, feelings and action as well as have some tendency to influence actions. Emotion has an intentionality that entails some of the understanding of the object the person is for. Emotions and feeling have tendency to influence actions due to the states influencing judgment and view on the judgment as well as their actions and intentions being for this object. Desire influences decisions like the other dispositions because the intention of a person on an object somewhat relies on how much they want stand for it and believe in it. The right amount of emotion, feeling and desire would influence a person’s actions in favor an object in mind. The multiple states contributing to human behavior, action and being for something append to idea of virtue and predictability.