MORAL PHILOSOPHY HAS LONG BEEN DOMINATED by two basic theories, Kantianism or deontology on the one hand, and utilitarianism or consequentialism on the other. Increasing dissatisfaction with these theories and their variants has led in recent years to the emergence of a different theory, the theory of virtue ethics. According to virtue ethics, what is primary for ethics is not, as deontologists and utilitarians hold, the judgment of acts or their consequences, but the judgment of agents. The good person is (...) the fundamental category for moral philosophy, and the good person is the person of good character, the person who possesses moral virtue. (shrink)
Arguments for and against liberalism are vitiated by failing to distinguish between states (which have millions of citizens) and communities (which have only a few thousand citizens). The state should be liberal or minimal, but the community should not. The state is an alliance of communities for mutual defense and is concerned with matters of defense alone. Two reasons are given for this conclusion, one from Aristotle and one from Hobbes (though Hobbes's argument has to be corrected in two important (...) respects). The community, by contrast, is a moral community and should not be liberal. Two arguments are also given for this conclusion, one from the naturalness of the family and one from the need for moral education. Once state and community have been thus distinguished and described, standard arguments both for and against the liberal state are seen to be correct but misdirected. (shrink)
Pope John Paul II's opposition to the Iraq War was not that it failed to meet the conditions of Just War Theory. Indeed, we cannot tell from what he publicly said whether he thought it met those conditions or not, for he would have opposed it in any case. His thinking was rather that even just and necessary wars always come, as it were, too late, and are never able to solve the problems that made wars just and necessary. He (...) was not trying therefore to enter into the details of Just War Theory. He wanted to subsume the principles of war into the principles of peace and to do so, not by denying justice, but by transcending it with charity. This article shows how this thinking is to be understood and the many means the Pope devised for putting this thinking into practice. (shrink)
In this follow up to The Eudemian Ethics of Aristotle, Peter L. P. Simpson centers his attention on the basics of Aristotelian moral doctrine as found in the Great Ethics: the definition of happiness, the nature and kind of the virtues, pleasure, and friendship. This work’s authenticity is disputed, but Simpson argues that all the evidence favors it. Unlike the Nicomachean and Eudemian Ethics, Aristotle wrote the Great Ethics for a popular audience. It gives us insight less into Aristotle the (...) theoretician than into Aristotle the pedagogue.For this reason, the Great Ethics has distinct advantages as an introduction to Aristotelian ethical thinking: it is simpler and clearer in its argumentation, matters such as the intellectual virtues are made suitably secondary to the practical focus, the moral virtues come through with a pleasing directness, and the work’s syllogistic formalism gives it a transparency and accessibility that the other Ethics typically lack. Arius’ Epitome, which relies heavily on this work, helps confirm its value and authenticity.Because the Great Ethics is generally neglected by scholars, less has been done to clear up its obscurities or to expose its structure. But to ignore it is to lose another and more instructive way of approaching and appreciating Aristotle’s teaching. The translation is prefaced by an analytic outline of the whole, and the several sections of it are prefaced by brief summaries. The commentary supplies fuller descriptions and analyses, sorting out puzzles, removing misunderstandings, and resolving doubts of meaning and intention. This book is a fresh rendition of the work of the preeminent philosopher of all time. (shrink)
Among the works on ethics in the Aristotelian corpus, there is no serious dispute among scholars that the "Eudemian Ethics "is authentic. The "Eudemian Ethics "is" "increasingly read and used by scholars as a useful support and confirmation and sometimes contrast to the "Nicomachean Ethics." Yet, it remains a largely neglected work in the study of Aristotle's ethics, both among scholars and moral philosophers. Peter L. P. Simpson provides an analytical outline of the entire work together with summaries of each (...) individual section, making the overall structure and detailed argument clear. His translation and explanatory notes include the common books that the "Eudemian" "Ethics" shares with the "Nicomachean." This translation contains renderings of words and phrases, and proposals for emending the text that differ from what other translators and scholars have adopted. This translation is literal, without expansion or paraphrase, and yet also readable. A readable but literal translation is necessary because in the "Eudemian Ethics," more than usual in Aristotle's writings, the logic of the argumentation can turn on the peculiar wording or order. Simpson explains the argumentation where necessary in notes and separate explanatory comments. This book is a fresh, twenty-first-century rendition of the work of one of the most eminent philosophers of all time. (shrink)
The article discusses the problem of natural justice which has been considered by Aristotle in his Nicomachean and Eudemian Ethics and Magna Moralia. In his Nicomachean and Eudemian Ethics Aristotle says of natural justice that it is changeable and not the same everywhere. The implication seems to be that no action, not even murder, is always wrong. But, as is evident especially from his Magna Moralia, Aristotle distinguishes justice into the “what”, the “in what”, and the “about what”. The article (...) concludes that Aristotle allows for variability only in the “about what,” while in the “what” and the “in what” he allows for no variability. (shrink)
This article is an attempt to break down Aristotle's arguments in favour of slavery into what I take to be their constituent premises and conclusions, to set these out schematically in syllogistic form, and to display both how each of the arguments works on its own and how all of them fit together to form one overarching argument. The purpose of this exercise is to make as evident as possible the structure, coherence, and validity of Aristotle's reasoning. This is something (...) that is lacking in scholarly treatments of Aristotle on slavery, few of which make a serious attempt to engage with the details of Aristotle's text. My conclusion is that Aristotle's argument is not only valid but, on the assumption of his virtue theory, sound as well. (shrink)
Introduction Aristotle’s criticisms of Plato’s Republic and Laws in the second book of his Politics have appeared to most commentators to be signally unconvincing. They seem to miss the point, beg the question, distort the sense or focus on the merely trivial. As one translator has put it, Aristotle is ‘puzzlingly unsympathetic’, ‘obtuse’ and ‘rather perverse’ as a critic of Plato.1 But while many accept this judgement few draw attention to the implications. These criticisms are one of the few cases (...) in the Aristotelian corpus where we also have the original works of the philosopher being criticised. They constitute a test- case to determine Aristotle’s fairness in transmitting and criticising the thought of others. If he does this so badly in the case of Plato where he can be checked, we must suppose the same in the case of other philosophers where he cannot. The significance of this result for our study of the Pre-Socratics, for instance, where Aristotle is usually our best authority, needs no stressing. So some serious re-examination of these chapters from the Politics would seem to be in order. For reasons of space I must limit myself here to the criticisms of common wives and children in the Republic. -/- Aristotle's Criticism of Socrates' Communism of Wives and Children. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274037904_Aristotle%27s_Criticism_of_Socrates%27_Communism_ of_Wives_and_Children [accessed Aug 12, 2017]. (shrink)
Locke and descartes only disagree about innate knowledge because they both accept the principle that knowledge that comes through the senses is sensible knowledge or reducible to such knowledge. Other philosophers from berkeley to wittgenstein share the same principle. This principle is rejected by aristotle and the aristotelian tradition; consequently aristotle is able to give a more convincing account of knowledge and its acquisition. A summary of this account is given and defended.
To write a book summarizing and explaining the thought of a wide-ranging and complex philosopher is a hard task, and even more so when the philosopher in question is still writing. Still, it is usually a worthy and often a necessary task. That is certainly so in this case. Charles Taylor is one of the few contemporary philosophers both to be at the forefront of a major philosophical movement and to have comfortably and ably straddled the great divide between analytic (...) and continental philosophy. He is also a philosopher who has had, and continues to have, a significant impact in the difficult and very different world of active politics, namely in his native Quebec. (shrink)
Velho Testamento Deus expressa, através do profeta Samuel, idéias sobre o governo humano, similares às de Sócrates na República de Platão. Ambos defendem que a melhor organização política é aquela na qual nenhuma pessoa ou classe domina, mas aquela onde cada um rege a si mesmo através de um princípio interno de justiça. Uma “anarquia” justa deste tipo não é apenas a melhor, mas também possível de ser alcançada. Ao menos em certos períodos os filhos de Israel a obtiveram. Deveríamos (...) imitá-los.In the Old Testament God expresses, through the prophet Samuel, views about human government that are very like those expressed by Socrates in Plato's Republic. Both maintain that the best political arrangement is where no one person or class rules but where each rules himself through an inner principle of justice. A just 'anarchy' of this sort is not only best; it is also possible of attainment. At least for certain periods the children of Israel attained it. We should imitate them. (shrink)
O tratado de Górgias sobre o nada é dividido por meio da prova de três teses diferentes: 1) que o nada é ou existe; 2) que mesmo que haja algo, não pode ser conhecido; 3) que mesmo que pudesse ser conhecido, não poderia ser comunicado a outrem. Estas teses são tão opostas a Parmênides quanto qualquer tese poderia sê-lo. O tratado de Górgias é uma proeza da polêmica antiparmenidiana. Sua dialética também é uma façanha ao reduzir algo ao absurdo, porque (...) as premissas de que Górgias se utiliza para derrubar Parmênides são tomadas do próprio Parmênides ou da escola parmenidiana. Ademais, e pela mesma razão, os argumentos de Górgias não podem ser derrubados sem abrir mão da tese de Parmênides, de que o ser é uno. Que o ser não é uno é a própria condição de uma metafísica sadia. Por esta razão, que não por outra qualquer, Górgias, e não Parmênides, merece ser lembrado como o primeiro metafísico. (shrink)
Challenges the orthodox account of Hegelian phenomenology as hyper-rationalism, arguing that Hegel's insistence on the primacy of experience in the development of scientific knowledge amounts to a kind of empiricism, or inductive epistemology.
This brief text assists students in understanding Karol Wojtyla's philosophy and thinking so they can more fully engage in useful, intelligent class dialogue and improve their understanding of course content. Part of the Wadsworth Notes Series,, ON KAROL WOJTYLA is written by a philosopher deeply versed in the philosophy of this key thinker. Like other books in the series, this concise book offers sufficient insight into the thinking of a notable philosopher, better enabling students to engage in reading and to (...) discuss the material in class and on paper. (shrink)
Ernest Barker wrote two books on the political thought of Plato, both of which were also directly related to his study of the political thought of Aristotle. This essay examines the way Barker's readings of Plato changed, first from the earlier to the later of his two books, and then from the later of these books, written during WWI, to his translation of Aristotle's Politics, written during WWII. The contention is that, as Barker himself partly confessed, WWI led him to (...) read hopes into Plato's works that he not had before and that he abandoned in WWII. This shift in reading Plato was essentially a shift in Barker's allegiance to political Hegelianism , which, while it intensified during WWI, had given way entirely to a thoroughly English Whig Constitutionalism by the end of WWII. The abandonment of Hegel enabled Barker to reach not only a better understanding of Plato in his Aristotle book but also a better and more wry understanding of German philosophy. (shrink)
Ernest Barker wrote two books on the political thought of Plato, both of which were also directly related to his study of the political thought of Aristotle. This essay examines the way Barkers readings of Plato changed, first from the earlier to the later of his two books, and then from the later of these books, written during WWI, to his translation of Aristotles Politics, written during WWII. The contention is that, as Barker himself partly confessed, WWI led him to (...) read hopes into Platos works that he not had before and that he abandoned in WWII. This shift in reading Plato was essentially a shift in Barkers allegiance to political Hegelianism, which, while it intensified during WWI, had given way entirely to a thoroughly English Whig Constitutionalism by the end of WWII. The abandonment of Hegel enabled Barker to reach not only a better understanding of Plato in his Aristotle book but also a better and more wry understanding of German philosophy. (shrink)
There is a widespread belief among contemporary philosophers that skeptical hypotheses—such as that we are dreaming, or victims of an evil demon, or brains in a vat—cannot definitively be ruled out as false. This belief is ill-founded. In fact it is based on a failure to see that skeptical arguments beg the question. Such arguments assume that reality is not an immediate given of experience in order to prove that reality is not an immediate given of experience. This point is (...) explained and justified in detail. Conversely, however, the realist would beg the question in the opposite way if he tried to prove realism. The conclusion we should reach is that skepticism and realism are problems of immediacy and not of proof. They face us with a choice between alternatives that are not only radically different but also pretty much impregnable and irrelevant to each other. This choice is not arbitrary, for there are grounds to determine it. But the grounds are the immediate evidence and not the arguments. (shrink)
This article is an attempt to break down Aristotle’s arguments in favour of slavery into what I take to be their constituent premises and conclusions, to set these out schematically in syllogistic form, and to display both how each of the arguments works on its own and how all of them fit together to form one overarching argument. The purpose of this exercise is to make as evident as possible the structure, coherence, and validity of Aristotle’s reasoning. This is something (...) that is lacking in scholarly treatments of Aristotle on slavery, few of which make a serious attempt to engage with the details of Aristotle’s text.My conclusion is that Aristotle’s argument is not only valid but, on the assumption of his virtue theory, sound as well. (shrink)
Friedrike Schick's Hegels Wissenschaft der Logik-metaphysische Letztbegründung oder Theorie logischer Formen? raises the question of the sense in which logic can perform the metaphysical work Hegel insists it can. It is Hegel's goal, according to Schick, to overcome the difference between logic, as the science of the forms of thought, and metaphysics, as the science of the forms of things themselves, by means of this transition, and it is Schick's goal in her work to evaluate Hegel's success.
Professor Slote is one of many contemporary philosophers writing on consequentialism; he is also one of the more acute and perceptive. While not himself a consequentialist, he is clearly fascinated by it as a philosophical theory. This fascination has enabled him to analyse it more thoroughly even than its many supporters, and we are indebted to him, both in this book and in others, for several new and important insights into the character of that perennial and much-debated theory.
Andrew Bowie's translation of On the History of Modern Philosophy, which works from the accepted German edition of Schelling's lectures delivered at the University of Munich during the 1830s, presents one of the more complex figures in the history of philosophy in an appropriately complex struggle to define his place in modern thought. Although Bowie contends that the lectures make accessible the later period of Schelling's work, Schelling's readings are typically informed and accompanied by densely-argued claims about the nature of (...) immediacy, originality, and the absolute. Bowie's introductory essay works hard to prepare the reader, organizing Schelling's thought historically, thematically, and chronologically, but there is a lot of ground to cover. (shrink)
The aim and result of this book may perhaps be best described as the dissolution of the idea of persons, at least as 'person' is ordinarily understood. Parfit wishes, partly in response to the impersonalism of modern life, to establish impersonalism in moral theory. But such impersonalism will in fact, he maintains, make things go better for persons.
This book consists of an introduction by Carnes Lord and nine essays: Stephen Salkever on Aristotle's social science; Cames Lord on Aristotle's anthropology; Abram Shulsky on Aristotle's economics; Josiah Ober on Aristotle's sociology of class, status, and Order; David O'Connor on Aristotle's conception of justice; Stephen Salkever on Plato and Aristotle on women, soldiers, and citizens; Waller Newell on Aristotle on monarchy; Barry Strauss on Aristotle on Athenian democracy; and Richard Bodéus on Aristotle on law and regime.
The title of this book is taken from one of Wittgenstein's own images. In Philosophical Investigations §18, Wittgenstein writes: "Our language can be seen as an ancient city: a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses, and of houses with additions from various periods." Ackerman maintains that this image gives us the clue to seeing Wittgenstein's thought as a whole. The two periods of Wittgenstein's thinking are nowhere near as opposed as scholars are wont to make (...) out. They differ only in that whereas in his first period Wittgenstein identified the whole city with one quarter of it, the "severely regular Levittown of the Tractatus," in his second he realized that the city contained many other quarters as well. Ackerman's aim is to show how the broader view of Wittgenstein's later period grows out of the earlier one, and how it preserves the teachings of the Tractatus. (shrink)