This book features many of the leading voices championing the revival of Neo-Aristotelian Ethical Naturalism (AN) in contemporary philosophy. It addresses the whole range of issues facing this research program at present. Coverage in the collection identifies differentiations, details standpoints, and points out new perspectives. This volume answers a need: AN is quite new to contemporary philosophy, despite its deep roots in the history of philosophy. As yet, there are many unanswered questions regarding its relation to contemporary views in metaethics. It is certainly not equivalent to dominant naturalistic approaches to metaethics in Anglophone philosophy. Indeed, it is not obviously incompatible with some approaches identified as nonnaturalistic. Further, there are controversies regarding the views of the first wave of virtue revivalists. The work of G.E.M. Anscombe and Philippa Foot is frequently misunderstood, despite the fact that they are important figures in the contemporary revival. This volume details a robust approach to ethics by situating it within the context of human life. It will help readers to better understand how AN raises deep questions about the relation of action and its evaluation to human nature. Neo-Aristotelians argue that something like the traditional cardinal virtues, practical wisdom, temperance, justice and courage, are qualities that perfect human reason and desire.
Hoy seeks to establish a basis for a naturalistic political theory as a continuity from Aristotle through the Enlightenment and Post-Enlightenment contributions of HUme and Dewey along with more recent development in Evolutionary Biology and Deep Ecology. He argues that this continuity can be seen as a corrective to inadequacies in both the reductive naturalism of classical liberalism as well as radical historicism or cultural relativism.
This book shows how Darwinian biology supports an Aristotelian view of ethics as rooted in human nature. Defending a conception of Darwinian natural right based on the claim that the good is the desirable, the author argues that there are at least twenty natural desires that are universal to all human societies because they are based in human biology. The satisfaction of these natural desires constitutes a universal standard for judging social practice as either fulfilling or frustrating human nature, although prudence is required in judging what is best for particular circumstances. The author studies the familial bonding of parents and children and the conjugal bonding of men and women as illustrating social behavior that conforms to Darwinian natural right. He also studies slavery and psychopathy as illustrating social behavior that contradicts Darwinian natural right. He argues as well that the natural moral sense does not require religious belief, although such belief can sometimes reinforce the dictates of nature.
By bringing together influential critics of neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics and some of the strongest defenders of an Aristotelian approach, this collection provides a fresh assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of Aristotelian virtue ethics and its contemporary interpretations. Contributors critically discuss and re-assess the neo-Aristotelian paradigm which has been predominant in the philosophical discourse on virtue for the past 30 years.
This book is a selective historical and critical study of moral philosophy in the Socratic tradition, with special attention to Aristotelian naturalism. It discusses the main topics of moral philosophy as they have developed historically, including: the human good, human nature, justice, friendship, and morality; the methods of moral inquiry; the virtues and their connexions; will, freedom, and responsibility; reason and emotion; relativism, subjectivism, and realism; the theological aspect of morality. The first volume discusses ancient and mediaeval moral philosophy. The second volume examines early modern moral philosophy from the 16th to the 18th century. This third volume continues the story up to Rawls's Theory of Justice. A comparison between the Kantian and the Aristotelian outlook is one central theme of the third volume. The chapters on Kant compare Kant both with his rationalist and empiricist predecessors and with the Aristotelian naturalist tradition. Reactions to Kant are traced through Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard. Utilitarian and idealist approaches to Kantian and Aristotelian views are traced through Sidgwick, Bradley, and Green. Mill and Sidgwick provide a link between 18th-century rationalism and sentimentalism and the 20th-century debates in the metaphysics and epistemology of morality. These debates are explored in Moore, Ross, Stevenson, Hare, C.I. Lewis, Heidegger, and in some more recent meta-ethical discussion. This volume concludes with a discussion of Rawls, with special emphasis on a comparison of his position with utilitarianism, intuitionism, Kantianism, naturalism, and idealism. Since this book seeks to be not only descriptive and exegetical, but also philosophical, it discusses the comparative merits of different views, the difficulties that they raise, and how some of the difficulties might be resolved. It presents the leading moral philosophers of the past as participants in a rational discussion in which the contemporary reader can participate.
This compelling and distinctive volume advances Aristotelianism by bringing its traditional virtue ethics to bear upon characteristically modern issues, such as the politics of economic power and egalitarian dispute. This volume bridges the gap between Aristotle's philosophy and the multitude of contemporary Aristotelian theories that have been formulated in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Part I draws on Aristotle's texts and Thomas Aquinas' Aristotelianism to examine the Aristotelian tradition of virtues, with a chapter by Alasdair MacIntyre contextualising the different readings of Aristotle's philosophy. Part II offers a critical engagement with MacIntyrean Aristotelianism, while Part III demonstrates the ongoing influence of Aristotelianism in contemporary theoretical debates on governance and politics. Extensive in its historical scope, this is a valuable collection relating the tradition of virtue to modernity, which will be of interest to all working in virtue ethics and contemporary Aristotelian politics.
There are many exciting points of contact between developmental psychology in the attachment paradigm and the kinds of questions first raised by Aristotle's ethics, and which continue to preoccupy moral philosophers today. The book brings experts from both fields together to explore them for the first time, to demonstrate why philosophers working in moral psychology, or in 'virtue ethics' - better, the triangle of relationships between the concepts of human nature, human excellence, and the best life for human beings - should take attachment theory more seriously than they have done to date. Attachment theory is a theory of psychological development. And the characteristics attachment theory is a developmental theory of - the various subvarieties of attachment - are evaluatively inflected: to be securely attached to a parent is to have a kind of attachment that makes for a good intimate relationship. But obviously the classification of human character in terms of the virtues is evaluatively inflected too. So it would be strange if there were no story to be told about how these two sets of evaluatively inflected descriptions relate to one another. Attachment and Character explores the relationship between attachment and prosocial behaviour; probes the concept of the prosocial itself, and the relationship between prosocial behaviour, virtue and the quality of the social environment; the question whether there even are such things as stable character traits; and whether attachment theory, in locating the origins of virtue in secure attachment, and attachment dispositions in human evolutionary history, gives support to ethical naturalism, in any of the many meanings of that expression.
This book seeks to show how Karl Marx’s vision of communism was a continuation of Aristotle’s classical humanist philosophy. Challenging the Engelsian distortion of Marx, it presents a negation of previous interpretations of Marx which present him in materialist terms. Engels proposed a picture of the highest stage of communist society as an economic egalitarianism, a vision which became an axiom of Leninist-Stalinist-Soviet Communism. By contrast, here it is shown that Marx embraced the Aristotelian concept of “distributive justice”, of proportionate equality. Spanning the works of Marx, from his university education and doctoral dissertation on the differences between the Democritean and Epicurean philosophy of the atom, to the study of his Rheinische Zeitung period and the persistence of classical humanism in Marx’s defense of the freedom of the press, Levine skillfully reveals the gravitational pull between Marx and Aristotle. Showing how classical humanism is the dominant ethos in the communism of Marx, the book includes chapters on: Hegel as a transition point between Aristotle and Marx The links between Marx’s theory of labor and Aristotle’s idea of the constitutive subject located in The Politics How the local methodologies of Aristotle and Hegel provided Marx with the social methodologies by which to interpret the functioning of capitalism Marx's Resurrection of Aristotle is the culmination of Norman Levine's life-long work to establish the correct placement of Marx and Marx’s communism within the classical humanist tradition.
Fifteen leading philosophers explore a set of themes from the pioneering work of Gail Fine and Terence Irwin, in ancient philosophy but also in later periods and in systematic philosophy. The contributors discuss knowledge, rhetoric, freedom and practical reason, virtue and the good life, ethics and politics in Plato and Aristotle and beyond. The editors offer an introduction charting the scholarly contributions of Fine and Irwin and assessing their individual and joint impact, together with a complete bibliography of their writings.
The Question of Methodological Naturalism offers ten essays on the role of naturalism in religious studies, ranging from sophisticated intellectual histories and philosophical analyses to trenchant denunciations and ringing endorsements. All have profound implications for the study of religions.