The Virtuous Life in Greek Ethics

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2006)
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There is now a renewed concern for moral psychology among moral philosophers. Moreover, contemporary philosophers interested in virtue, moral responsibility and moral progress regularly refer to Plato and Aristotle, the two founding fathers of ancient ethics. The book contains eleven chapters by distinguished scholars which showcase current research in Greek ethics. Four deal with Plato, focusing on the Protagoras, Euthydemus, Symposium and Republic, and discussing matters of literary presentation alongside the philosophical content. The four chapters on Aristotle address problems such as the doctrine of the mean, the status of rules, equity and the tension between altruism and egoism in Aristotelian eudaimonism. A contrast to classical Greek ethics is presented by two chapters reconstructing Epicurus' views on the emotions and moral responsibility as well as on moral development. The final chapter on personal identity in Empedocles shows that the concern for moral progress is already palpable in Presocratic philosophy.



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