Introduction to the Scientific Proof of the Natural Moral Law -/- This paper proves that Aquinas has a means of demonstrating and deriving both moral goodness and the natural moral law from human nature alone. Aquinas scientifically proves the existence of the natural moral law as the natural rule of human operations from human nature alone. The distinction between moral goodness and transcendental goodness is affirmed. This provides the intellectual tools to refute the G.E. Moore (Principles of Ethics) attack against (...) the natural law as committing a "naturalistic fallacy". This article proves that instead Moore commits the fallacy of equivocation between moral goodness and transcendental goodness in his very assertion of a "naturalistic fallacy" by the proponents of the natural moral law. In the process the new deontological/kantian theory of natural law as articulated by John Finnis, Robert George, and Germain Grisez is false historically and philosophically. Ethical naturalism is affirmed as a result. (shrink)
This paper examines the role of vulnerability in the basis of business ethics by criticizing its role in giving a moral substantial character to fiduciary duties to shareholders. The target is Marcoux’s (Bus Ethics Q 13(1):1–24, 2003) argument for morally substantial fiduciary duties vis-à-vis the multifiduciary stakeholder theory. Rather than proceed to support the stakeholder paradigm, a conception of vulnerability is combined with Heath’s 2004) “market failure” view of the ethical obligations of managers as falling out of their roles as (...) professionals involved in the institution of the market. The result is the core of a theoretically defensible and managerially motivating and deployable ethic. (shrink)
In his recent work, T.M. Scanlon has argued for a relationship based theory of blame. For Scanlon moral blame involves the modification of the moral relationship. He holds that this relationship obtains among all rational beings. George Sher has recently argued that Scanlon’s theory cannot account for blame between strangers. Following Sher, I argue that Scanlon’s account of blame precludes complete strangers and that his conception of the moral relationship is fundamentally inconsistent with his theory of blame generally. I contend (...) that Scanlon’s moral relationship, in itself, precludes the possibility of blaming on his account. (shrink)
I reject the traditional picture of philosophical withdrawal in the Hellenistic Age by showing how both Epicureans and Stoics oppose, in different ways, the Platonic and Aristotelian assumption that contemplative activity is the greatest good for a human being. Chrysippus the Stoic agrees with Plato and Aristotle that the greatest good for a human being is virtuous activity, but he denies that contemplation exercises virtue. Epicurus more thoroughly rejects the assumption that the greatest good for a human being is virtuous (...) activity. He maintains that the greatest good for a human being is the tranquility that virtuous activity always and contemplative activity sometimes brings about. (shrink)
Positioning Du Bois's arguments in The Souls of Black Folk (1903) within social theory enhances our understanding of the phenomenological dimensions of racial oppression and of how oppressed groups build on members' differences, as well as on what they share, to construct a cosmopolitan and richly textured community. Du Bois wrote Souls just at the beginning of the Great Migration but indicated that geographical dispersion would deepen racial solidarity, enhance the meaningfulness of community, and emancipate individual group members through participation (...) in mainstream society while maintaining their black identity. Du Bois's writings have powerful implications for understanding how to promote racial justice, and contemporary readers might consider that they have implications for social justice more generally. An analysis of black newspapers that were published during the period of 1900 to 1935 illustrates how Du Bois's conceptions were woven into discourse and everyday practices. (shrink)
In Nicomachean Ethics I 5, Aristotle discusses four sorts of lives, giving preferred attention to the lives devoted to gratification, politics, and philosophical contemplation, and dismissing the one devoted to making money. On his account, those who live these different sorts of lives pursue manifestly different goals, and their different goals shape different evaluations of all of their actions, reactions, relations, and possessions. Hence, Aristotle simultaneously engages the traditional inquiry into which sort of life is best and extracts from that (...) inquiry beliefs about what the goal of life (called eudaimonia)1 should be. He first rejects pleasure, the goal suggested by the life of gratification (that is, the "apolaustic" (épolaustikÒw) life), and then he disdains honor and virtue, either of which might be pursued by the political life. But Aristotle's inquiry pulls up short. He considers only static conceptions of eudaimonia (pleasure, honor, virtue), and he explicitly postpones a discussion of the goal suggested by the contemplative life. Not until Nicomachean Ethics X 6-8 does Aristotle repair these defects. At this point he argues against pleasant activity as the goal suggested by the apolaustic life, and he compares the activities central to the political life and the contemplative life. The delay is awkward in two ways. First, it makes difficult any attempt to relate the traditional inquiry on lives (in I 5 and X 6-8) to Aristotle's own long and complicated discussion.. (shrink)
In Book One of the Nicomachean Ethics (EN),1 Aristotle seeks to identify the human good, which he also calls eudaimonia2 or happiness (I 4, 1095a14-20) and which he explains as that for the sake of which one should do everything one does (I 7, 1097a22-24 and 1097a25- b21). After introducing the idea (in chapters one through three) and surveying some received accounts of it (in chapters four through six), he seems to give his definition in the seventh chapter, where he (...) appeals to the human function and concludes that "the human good is activity of the [rational] soul in accordance with virtue, and if there are multiple virtues, in accordance with the best and most complete virtue" (I 7, 1098a16-18).3 This account is sketchy, as Aristotle admits (I 7, 1098a20-22): he needs to say what virtuous activity is, how many virtues there are, and whether some one virtue is best and most complete. But the account has enough content to suit Aristotle's initial purposes (I 7, 1098a22-b8) and to court interpretive controversy. Perhaps the most obvious controversy is this: Does Aristotle really mean that the human good is just virtuous rational activity? Are health and wealth, not to mention friends and lovers, not part of the goal for the sake of which one should do everything one does? Many readers think that Aristotle does not intend such a narrow account. Some point to what he says about happiness before he comes to the human function argument, or to what he says about the good.. (shrink)
Plato's Republic centers on a simple question: is it always better to be just than unjust? The puzzles in Book One prepare for this question, and Glaucon and Adeimantus make it explicit at the beginning of Book Two. To answer the question, Socrates takes a long way around, sketching an account of a good city on the grounds that a good city would be just and that defining justice as a virtue of a city would help to define justice as (...) a virtue of a human being. Socrates is finally close to answering the question after he characterizes justice as a personal virtue at the end of Book Four, but he is interrupted and challenged to defend some of the more controversial features of the good city he has sketched. In Books Five through Seven, he addresses this challenge, arguing (in effect) that the just city and the just human being as he has sketched them are in fact good and are in principle possible. After this long digression, Socrates in Books Eight and Nine finally delivers three "proofs" that it is always better to be just than unjust. Then, because Socrates wants not only to show that it is always better to be just but also to convince Glaucon and Adeimantus of this point, and because Socrates' proofs are opposed by the teachings of poets, he bolsters his case in Book Ten by indicting the poets' claims to represent the truth and by offering a new myth that is consonant with his proofs. (shrink)
Questions about the role of luck in attributions of moral responsibility have troubled theorists for some time. In this paper I will explicate a position that acknowledges luck as a contributing factor to most, if not all, outcomes and consequences while denying luck the exculpatory role that some theorists contend it plays. I begin by going through the characterization of two perspectives on luck offered by Susan Wolf. From there I outline two necessary conditions for the legitimate attribution of praise (...) or blame. The first condition is that of Control. The second condition is the agent's creation of "undue risk". I revisit Wolfs two perspectives and break down the relationship between the necessary conditions and each perspective. I contend that a legitimate theory of moral responsibility must allow for factors outside of an agent's control when attempting to attribute praise or blame. Luck can be seen as one of these factors and it should not be seen as playing an exculpatory role. (shrink)
In the Euthydemus, Socrates and young Cleinias agree, "Not one of the other things is good or bad, but of these two, one—wisdom—is good, and the other—ignorance—is bad" (281e3-5).1 To some, this is the outrageous and characteristically Stoic claim that wisdom is the only good.
The last several decades have witnessed an explosion of research in Platonic philosophy. A central focus of his philosophical effort, Plato's psychology is of interest both in its own right and as fundamental to his metaphysical and moral theories. This anthology offers, for the first time, a collection of the best classic and recent essays on cenral topics of Plato's psychological theory, including essays on the nature of the soul, studies of the tripartite soul for which Plato argues in the (...) Republic, and analyses of his varied arguments for immortality. With a comprehensive introduction to the major issues of Plato's psychology and an up-to-date bibliography of work on the relevant issues, this much-needed text makes the study of Plato's psychology accessible to scholars in ancient Greek philosophy, classics, and history of psychology. (shrink)
When Socrates was asked to which [country] he belonged, he would say, 'To the world,' for he thought that he was an inhabitant and citizen of the whole world."2 So we are told by those philosophers in later antiquity who liked to see themselves as the heirs of Socrates and as cosmopolitans.
Eric Brown - The Roman Stoics: Self, Responsibility, and Affection - Journal of the History of Philosophy 45:3 Journal of the History of Philosophy 45.3 490-491 Muse Search Journals This Journal Contents Reviewed by Eric Brown Washington University in St. Louis Gretchen Reydams-Schils, The Roman Stoics: Self, Responsibility, and Affection. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2005. Pp. xi + 210. Cloth, $35.00. In The Roman Stoics, Gretchen Reydams-Schils draws broadly from Cicero, Seneca, Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, Hierocles, Marcus Aurelius, and (...) a couple of others, but her purpose is neither comprehensive nor introductory. Rather, she focuses on issues in their work that are less prominent in what survives from earlier Greek Stoics. Musonius Rufus, Hierocles, and an Antipater all leave works on marriage, and Cicero, Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus.. (shrink)
Apathy is the best-known feature of Stoicism; even Webster's records that a Stoic lives without passions.1 But it remains unclear what Stoic apathy amounts to, because it remains unclear what Stoics understand by passions and why they find passions problematic. In this essay, I start with four unsettled questions about the Stoic definition of passions, and to answer these questions, I explain the passions as central elements of Stoic psychopathology, that is, as defects relative to the Stoic account of the (...) psychological norm. This hypothesis, I claim, clarifies what the evidence by itself leaves uncertain. I close by bringing my conclusions to bear on the scope of Stoic apathy. Throughout, I focus on the account of the passions offered by the greatest Greek Stoic, Chrysippus of Soli, who headed the school in the third.. (shrink)
Plutarch charges that Stoic theory is inconsistent with Stoic political engagement no matter what they decide to do, because the Stoics' endorsement of the political life is inconsistent with their cosmopolitan rejection of ordinary politics (Stoic.rep., ab init.). Drawing on evidence from Chrysippus and Seneca, I develop an argument that answers this charge, and I draw out two interesting implications of the argument. The first implication is for scholars of ancient Stoicism who like to say that Stoicism is apolitical. The (...) argument I reconstruct turns on the political importance of the practice of giving and taking advice, and in this way makes clear a philosophically significant way in which Stoic ethics is itself political. The second implication is for moral and political theorists who are quick to contrast cosmopolitanism with patriotic political engagement. My Chrysippean and Senecan argument shows how Stoics could envision local political engagement as an instantiation of cosmopolitan commitments. (shrink)
Resurgent nationalisms and disputes over educational curricula have brought to the fore an old debate between cosmopolitans and patriots. The cosmopolitans emphasize our moral obligations to all human beings, while the patriots argue that our greatest moral obligations lie closer to hand, within our political community. My dissertation concerns the roots of this debate by focusing on the first philosophers in the West to devise an ethical theory which is fully committed to the strictly cosmopolitan denial that we have any (...) obligations to fellow citizens qua fellow citizens, the Greek Stoics of the third century scBCE. I discuss the arguments they offer for their strict cosmopolitanism, and I demonstrate how they argue in favor of the locally engaged political life in spite of their strict cosmopolitanism. For perspective, my dissertation also includes a background chapter on Plato and Aristotle and a chapter on the development of Stoic cosmopolitanism in Cicero. ;An introductory chapter clarifies the conflict between cosmopolitanism and patriotism. The first chapter concerns the Socrates of Plato's early dialogues, who seems to recognize obligations to all human beings, and the mature Plato and Aristotle, who do not develop the cosmopolitan implications of Socratic ethics. Chapter Two argues that the early Stoics ground their strict cosmopolitanism in certain assumptions about cosmic nature, and in Chapter Three, I reconstruct how Chrysippus' On Lives endorses the political life in spite of his strictly cosmopolitan commitments. The fourth chapter discusses the retreat in Cicero's De Officiis to a more limited Stoic cosmopolitanism which recognizes special obligations to fellow citizens. A brief concluding chapter relates the findings of the dissertation both to some broad historical questions about the origins and subsequent development of cosmopolitanism and to an argument for special obligations to fellow citizens which is prominent in the contemporary literature. (shrink)