By Lawrence C. Becker, Charlotte B. Becker
This newly revised and up-to-date variation of A heritage of Western Ethics is a coherent and obtainable evaluate of an important figures and influential principles of the heritage of ethics within the Western philosophical culture.
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Additional resources for A History of Western Ethics
These Stoics do not exclude themselves from their prescriptions. They should not be read as telling the rest of the world how to behave, but rather, as providing instruction in how to look at oneself as a moral agent, how to review and adjudicate oneself, and how to test one’s ethical consistency and integrity. What this concern with the “self” amounts to can best be indicated by a series of illustrations. LONG tranquillity. Much of his advice may seem banal or homespun—learning how to relax, comparing one’s own situation with that of others, not setting one’s heart on implausible goals, adaptation to circumstances, the cultivation of detachment, and withdrawal into oneself.
In fact, the official goal of Epicureanism is not pleasure or even absence of pain, but “freedom from disturbance” (as with Pyrrho, whom Epicurus is said to have admired). It is this term which brings us to what is most distinctive about Epicurean ethics—a promise to deliver happiness by removing the principal causes of unhappiness. These consist in two kinds of false beliefs: one set of these is misassessment of the goods/pleasures that we need and the bad things/pains we have to endure. ” Elaborating the physics of Democritus (c.
In its idealized form, however, it did imply norms of conduct aimed at promoting and respecting another’s good. What the traditionally “good man” does he does, in respect of his virtus, for others—for state, family, friends. There is no suggestion that he himself flourishes or achieves well-being thereby. This is a decisive contrast with Greek philosophy in which arete (ethical virtue) is taken to be constitutive of, or at least instrumental to, happiness. ) Aeneas abandons Dido because their love affair interferes with his mission as the founder of Rome.
A History of Western Ethics by Lawrence C. Becker, Charlotte B. Becker