Further, the virtue ethicist asks, does a socially mobile world actually undermine certain roles that are great goods - such as the arts or being a mother?
These things contribute to the common good. They are part of any just, flourishing society. And yet, social mobility may sideline them by not appreciating them.
This is not to say that a virtue ethics approach is against mobility.
What it would suggest, though, is that a good society needs to have ways of rewarding individuals that contribute things of moral, not just material, worth.
That might be a society which funds the arts, encourages the humanities as well as sciences, and doesn't forget that what goes on in the home matters at least as much as what goes on in the marketplace.
BBC News - Is social mobility good?
Broadcaster Andrew Neil says the meritocracy - in politics at least - is grinding to a halt. Today's MPs increasingly come from privileged stock. His documentary Posh and Posher is on BBC Two, 26 Jan at 2100 GMT