Raimond Gaita's Good and Evil is one of the most important, original and provocative books on the nature of morality to have been published in recent years. It is essential reading for anyone interested in what it means to talk about good and evil. Gaita argues that questions about morality are inseparable from the preciousness of each human being, an issue we can only address if we place the idea of remorse at the centre of moral (...) life. Drawing on an astonishing range of thinkers and writers, including Plato, Wittgenstein, George Orwell and Primo Levi, Gaita also reflects on the place of reason and truth in morality and ultimately how questions about good and evil are connected to the meaning of our lives. This revised edition of Good and Evil includes a substantial new preface and afterword by the author. (shrink)
“Supposing that truth is a women-what then?” This is the very first sentence in Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil . Not very often are philosophers so disarmingly explicit in their intention to discomfort the reader. In fact, one might say that the natural state of Nietzsche’s reader is one of perplexity. Yet it is in the process of overcoming the perplexity that one realizes how rewarding to have one’s ideas challenged. In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche (...) critiques the mediocre in modernity and challenges the reader to accept their state of becoming and accept improvisation and creativity of the process. Nietzsche’s book is carefully designed to disorient the reader, to systematically provoke and tease her to the point of stealing away her certainties. It is challenging yet rewarding to overcome the perplexities of Nietzsche’s teachings. (shrink)
Beyond Good and Evil is one of the most scathing and powerful critiques of philosophy, religion, science, politics and ethics ever written. In it, Nietzsche presents a set of problems, criticisms and philosophical challenges that continue both to inspire and to trouble contemporary thought. In addition, he offers his most subtle, detailed and sophisticated account of the virtues, ideas, and practices which will characterize philosophy and philosophers of the future. With his relentlessly energetic style and tirelessly probing manner, (...) Nietzsche embodies the type of thought he wants to foster, while defining its historical role and determining its agenda. This edition offers a new and readable translation, by Judith Norman, of one of the most influential texts in the history of philosophy, together with an introduction by Rolf-Peter Horstmann that sets it in its historical and philosophical context. (shrink)
Raimond Gaita's _Good and Evil_ is one of the most important, original and provocative books on the nature of morality to have been published in recent years. It is essential reading for anyone interested in what it means to talk about good and evil. Gaita argues that questions about morality are inseparable from the preciousness of each human being, an issue we can only address if we place the idea of remorse at the centre of moral life. Drawing (...) on an astonishing range of thinkers and writers, including Plato, Wittgenstein, George Orwell and Primo Levi, Gaita also reflects on the place of reason and truth in morality and ultimately how questions about good and evil are connected to the meaning of our lives. This revised edition of _Good and Evil_ includes a substantial new preface and afterword by the author. (shrink)
The discussion of good and evil must not be confined to the sterile lecture halls of academics but related instead to ordinary human feelings, needs, and desires, says noted philosopher Richard Taylor. Efforts to understand morality by exploring human reason will always fail because we are creatures of desire as well. All morality arises from our intense and inescapable longing. The distinction between good and evil is always clouded by rationalists who convert the real problems of (...) ethics into complex philosophical puzzles. In the first part of Good and Evil, Taylor looks for a more meaningful conception by reexamining and rejecting the whole rationalistic tradition that dominates philosophical ethics. The second part provides an empirical explanation of good and evil, noting that one does not have to look too far to find prime examples of the failure of fixed moral rules. Including important commentary on Joseph Fletcher's groundbreaking situation ethics, and Aristotle's virtues (e.g., magnanimity and pride), Taylor rounds out the book by developing a philosophy of aspiration--personal worth as an ethical ideal--to replace the morality of duty. He offers a modified form of situation ethics to fit the contemporary problems we face. (shrink)
Nietzsche's mature masterpiece, Beyond Good and Evil considers the origins and nature of Judeo-Christian morality; the end of philosophical dogmatism and beginning of perspectivism; the questionable virtues of science and scholarship; liberal democracy, nationalism, and women's emancipation. A superb and new translation by Marion Faber, this highly annotated edition is complemented by a lucid introduction by one of the most eminent of Nietzsche scholars, Robert C. Holub.
Raimond Gaita draws moral philosophy away from the academic study of ethics and considers instead how real people actually think, talk and feel about morality. He explores our ideas of good and evil, and their link to our respect for human beings and the'preciousness' of each individual.
A leading cognitive scientist argues that a deep sense of good and evil is bred in the bone. From John Locke to Sigmund Freud, philosophers and psychologists have long believed that we begin life as blank moral slates. Many of us take for granted that babies are born selfish and that it is the role of society—and especially parents—to transform them from little sociopaths into civilized beings. In Just Babies, Paul Bloom argues that humans are in fact hardwired (...) with a sense of morality. Drawing on groundbreaking research at Yale, Bloom demonstrates that, even before they can speak or walk, babies judge the goodness and badness of others’ actions; feel empathy and compassion; act to soothe those in distress; and have a rudimentary sense of justice. -/- Still, this innate morality is limited, sometimes tragically. We are naturally hostile to strangers, prone to parochialism and bigotry. Bringing together insights from psychology, behavioral economics, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, Bloom explores how we have come to surpass these limitations. Along the way, he examines the morality of chimpanzees, violent psychopaths, religious extremists, and Ivy League professors, and explores our often puzzling moral feelings about sex, politics, religion, and race. In his analysis of the morality of children and adults, Bloom rejects the fashionable view that our moral decisions are driven mainly by gut feelings and unconscious biases. Just as reason has driven our great scientific discoveries, he argues, it is reason and deliberation that makes possible our moral discoveries, such as the wrongness of slavery. Ultimately, it is through our imagination, our compassion, and our uniquely human capacity for rational thought that we can transcend the primitive sense of morality we were born with, becoming more than just babies. -/- Paul Bloom has a gift for bringing abstract ideas to life, moving seamlessly from Darwin, Herodotus, and Adam Smith to The Princess Bride, Hannibal Lecter, and Louis C.K. Vivid, witty, and intellectually probing, Just Babies offers a radical new perspective on our moral lives. (shrink)
Return to Good and Evil: Flannery O'Connor's Response to Nihilism is a superb guide to the works of Flannery O'Connor; and like O'Connor's stories themselves, it is captivating, provocative, and unsettling. Edmondson organizes O'Connor's thought around her principal concern, that with the nihilistic claim that "God is dead" the traditional signposts of good and evil have been lost. Edmondson's book demonstrates that the combination of O'Connor's artistic brilliance and philosophical genius provide the best response to the (...) nihilistic despair of the modern world—a return to "good and evil" through humility and grace. (shrink)
This convenient new compendium contains the five most philosophically significant of Nietzsche’s post- Thus Spoke Zarathustra writings. Nietzsche wrote of these works that he intended them as “fish hooks” for catching readers who shared his sense that a cataclysmic shift in human psychology had suddenly occurred with the advent of nihilism - the uncanny and pervasive feeling that life is devoid of all meaning, purpose, and value. Taken together these books offer the reader a definitive account of Nietzsche’s mature philosophy (...) as he intended it to be presented and a sweeping attack upon everything the modern Western world holds to be good about itself. (shrink)
Since September 11, 2001, many people in the United States have been more inclined to use the language of good and evil, and to be more comfortable with the idea that certain moral standards are objective (true independently of what anyone happens to think of them). Some people, especially those who are not religious, are not sure how to substantiate this view. Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? provides a basis for exploring these doubts and ultimately (...) defends the objectivity of ethics. Engaging and accessible, it is the first introduction to meta-ethics written especially for students and general readers with no philosophical background. Focusing on the issues at the foundation of morality, it poses such questions as: How can we know what is right and wrong? Does ethical objectivity require God? Why should I be moral? Where do moral standards come from? What is a moral value, and how can it exist in a scientific world? Do cultural diversity and persistent moral disagreement support moral skepticism? Writing in a clear and lively style and employing many examples to illustrate theoretical arguments, Russ Shafer-Landau identifies the many weaknesses in contemporary moral skepticism and devotes considerable attention to presenting, and critiquing, the most difficult objections to his view. Also included in the book are a helpful summary of all the major arguments covered, as well as a glossary of key philosophical terms. Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? is ideal for a variety of philosophy courses and compelling reading for anyone interested in ethics. (shrink)
_Do good and evil exist? Absolutely._ In this bracing book, the eminent Dutch philosopher Andreas Kinneging turns fashionable thinking on its head, revealing how good and evil are objective, universal, and unchanging—and how they must be rediscovered in our age. In mapping the geography of good and evil, Kinneging reclaims, and reintroduces us to, the great tradition of ancient and Christian thought. Traditional wisdom enables us to address the eternal questions of good and (...)evil that confront us in both public and private life. Though it is common to accept uncritically the blessings of modernity and its intellectual sources, the Enlightenment and Romanticism, Kinneging shows that traditional thinking is richer and more realistic. Indeed, we see how, in more than a few respects, the Enlightenment and Romanticism brought not progress but deterioration. Kinneging skillfully reformulates and defends the insights of traditional thinking for today’s readers, demonstrating how an objective morality is to be understood and how we can know what morality demands of us. At a time when the traditional virtues have practically disappeared from our language, he lays out the foundations of virtue and vice. Ultimately, Kinneging reveals the lasting significance of these seemingly archaic notions—to our own lives, to our families, to our culture, and to civilization.__ This profound, award-winning work establishes Andreas Kinneging as one of our wisest moral philosophers. _“Shows with utmost clarity the virtue of intellectual courage... A brilliant model for sallies against our dark age.”_ _—_The Intercollegiate Review____ _“[Kinneging is] leader of a conservative intellectual revival in the Netherlands.”__ —_New York Times Magazine__. (shrink)
"Scribner library ; SL 45."A Hebrew version of the first essay was published in 1950 under title: (romanized form) ha-Tsedek veha-ʻavel ʻal-pi tseror mizmore Tehilim. I. Right and wrong, translated by R.G. Smith. --II. Images of good and evil, translated by M. Bullock.
Talk about evil resonates in ways that are culturally inherited. Historical and religious dimensions of “evil” often seem to be front and center. Nevertheless, we argue that it would be too quick to dismiss the study of evil within secular ethics. We defend an outlook that is inspired by ancient ethics—also called virtue ethics—which accepts the so-called Guise of the Good account of motivation. For an agent to be motivated to perform an action, something about the (...) action must look good to her. We argue that evil actions do not constitute exceptions to the Guise of the Good. To preserve this framework, we entertain a privative account of evil, according to which evil is the absence of the good, and yet appears in a positive light to the agent who performs an evil action. We reject the view that evil is quantitatively extreme badness. An account of evil should permit that some instances of evil are from a third person perspective not extremely bad. On this picture, evil is agent-relative; something can be evil relative to one person without being evil relative to another person. Accordingly, several qualities—rather than only one distinctive quality—can make an action evil. (shrink)
The Metaphysics of Good and Evil is the first, full-length contemporary defence, from the perspective of analytic philosophy, of the Scholastic theory of good and evil - the theory of Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and most medieval and Thomistic philosophers. Goodness is analysed as obedience to nature. Evil is analysed as the privation of goodness. Goodness, surprisingly, is found in the non-living world, but in the living world it takes on a special character. The book analyses (...) various kinds of goodness, showing how they fit into the Scholastic theory. The privation theory of evil is given its most comprehensive contemporary defence, including an account of truthmakers for truths of privation and an analysis of how causation by privation should be understood. In the end, all evil is deviance - a departure from the goodness prescribed by a thing's essential nature. Key Features: Offers a comprehensive defence of a venerable metaphysical theory, conducted using the concepts and methods of analytic philosophy. Revives a much neglected approach to the question of good and evil in their most general nature. Shows how Aristotelian-Thomistic theory has more than historical relevance to a fundamental philosophical issue, but can be applied in a way that is both defensible and yet accessible to the modern philosopher. Provides what, for the Scholastic philosopher, is arguably the only solid metaphysical foundation for a separate treatment of the origins of morality. (shrink)
Abstract In what ways was Nietzsche right, from a Buddhist perspective, and where did he go wrong? Nietzsche understood how the distinction we make between this world and a higher spiritual realm serves our need for security, and he saw the bad faith in religious values motivated by this need. He did not perceive how his alternative, more aristocratic values, also reflects the same anxiety. Nietzsche realised how the search for truth is motivated by a sublimated desire for symbolic security; (...) philosophy's attempt to create the world reflects the tyrannical will?to?power, becoming the most ?spiritualised? version of the need to impose our will. Insofar as truth is our intellectual effort to grasp being symbolically, however, Nietzsche overlooks a different reversal of perspective which could convert the ?bad infinite? of heroic will into the good infinite of disseminating play. What he considered the crown of his system?eternal recurrence?is actually its denouement. Having seen through the delusion of Being, Nietzsche still sought a Being within Becoming. Nietzsche is able to affirm the value of this moment only by making it recur eternally. Rather than the way to vanquish nihilism, will?to?power turns out to be pure nihilism, for nihilism is not the debacle of all meaning but our dread of that debacle and what we do to avoid it. (shrink)
_Beyond Good and Evil_ is Nietzsche's first sustained philosophical treatment of issues important to him. Unlike the expository prose of the essayistic period, the stylized forays and jabs of the aphoristic period, and the lyrical-philosophical rhetoric of the Zarathustra-period, _Beyond Good and Evil_ inscribes itself boldly into the history of philosophy, challenging ancient and modern notions of philosophy's achievements and insisting on a new task for "new philosophers." This is a watershed book for Nietzsche and for philosophy in (...) the modern era. _On the Genealogy of Morality_ applies Nietzsche's celebrated genealogical method, honed in the earlier aphoristic writings, to the problem of morality's influence on the human species. In three treatises that strikingly anticipate insights appearing much later in Freud's _Civilization and Its Discontents_, Nietzsche provides an anthropological psychograph of our species, revealing the origins of the concepts of good and evil, the roles played by guilt and bad conscience, and the persistence of ascetic ideals. Manifesting a hopeful yet unsentimental assessment of the human condition, these books resonated throughout the 20th century and continue to exert broad appeal. (shrink)
In his third and final investigation into the science of belief, bestselling author Michael Shermer tackles the evolution of morality and ethics A century and a half after Darwin first proposed an “evolutionary ethics,” science has begun to tackle the roots of morality. Just as evolutionary biologists study why we are hungry (to motivate us to eat) or why sex is enjoyable (to motivate us to procreate), they are now searching for the roots of human nature. In The Science of (...)Good and Evil , psychologist and science historian Michael Shermer explores how humans evolved from social primates to moral primates, how and why morality motivates the human animal, and how the foundation of moral principles can be built upon empirical evidence. Along the way he explains the im-plications of statistics for fate and free will fuzzy logic for the existence of pure good and pure evil and ecology for the development of early moral sentiments among the first humans. As he closes the divide between science and morality, Shermer draws on stories from the Yanamamo, infamously known as the “fierce people” of the tropical rain forest, to the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Japan, to John Hinckley’s insanity defense. The Science of Good and Evil is ultimately a profound look at the moral animal, belief, and the scientific pursuit of truth. (shrink)
In this article, six demoralising processes in the context of the company are identified. These processes promote a realm of ' being-with', in which outcomes of human interaction are evaluated on rational grounds, and on whether or not a particular action accorded with stipulated ethical rules. Thereby the realm of 'being-for', in which individuals are supported to take increased responsibility, is marginalized. The conclusion made is that not only do the demoralizing processes systematically produce moral distance between humans, which weakens (...) individual spontaneous outbursts of sympathy to take increased moral responsibility, they also promise to release individuals from their moral ambivalence by declaring organised action morally indifferent. Organisational action is, in other words, declared as adiaphoric - beyond good and evil. (shrink)
In this multi-disciplinary collection, we ask the question, 'What did, and do, Quakers think about good and evil?' There are no simple or straightforwardly uniform answers to this, but in this collection, we draw together contributions that for the first time look at historical and contemporary Quakerdom's approach to the ethical and theological problem of evil and good. Within Quakerism can be found Liberal, Conservative, and Evangelical forms. This book uncovers the complex development of metaethical thought (...) by a religious group that has evolved with an unusual degree of diversity. In doing so, it also points beyond the boundaries of the Religious Society of Friends to engage with the spectrum of thinking in the wider religious world. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to think business ethics with the help of philosopher Alain Badiou, focusing on Badiou's critique of ethics and the concepts of ‘event’, ‘truth’ and especially ‘subject’. Based mainly on review articles, I construct an understanding of business ethics and its history as a field of research. With the help of a framework developed from Badiou's work on ethics, I conduct a metacritique of business ethics as being intolerant, nihilist, reactive and obscure. Opposed to these (...) tendencies, with the help of the constructive Badiou, I argue that business ethics should move towards the creation of faithful subjects possibly formed by ‘inexistent’ research in the field, as well as concerning itself with closely studying and identifying empirical cases of faithful subject formations and their deviations. (shrink)
The article is an attempt to outline a new paradigm of thinking, contained in the dialogical “you are.” Józef Tischner creatively developed ideas of Buber and Levinas. He claimed that in the face of “death of a man” there is a need to search for new ways of rescuing our humanity. The philosophy of drama starts from a question, which is a “cry of pain” in the presence of evil. A man — according to Nietzsche’s discovery — looks for (...) power, understood by Tischner as a “grace,” which is a specific good. Forces of good and evil influence a man both in a constructive and destructive way. A desire for unlimited power inevitably appears in the depth of a human heart. Evil, as a false power, reveals itself both in the individual and social aspect. Dehumanized global structures grow today as “systems of evil.” The agathological drama is being realized also in the dimension of faith and unbelief, in the sphere of the division between faith and mind. The “resurrection” of man is possible owing to meeting with another person whose dignity and beauty one may discover no matter how different he is. In the civilization of work the man is often treated as a tool, an instrument for egoistic benefit. The agathological philosophy aims to be a way of thinking attached to a specific man, while it looks for a key and a solution to a drama of a man, entangled in the system of work, consumption, empty hopes and pseudo-values. This philosophical thought has great potential to diagnose our times, which is the first step on the way to the “transformation of all values.” Key words GOOD, EVIL, AGATHOLOGY, REASON, FAITH. (shrink)
This superb new translation of Nietzsche's mature masterpiece, Beyond Good and Evil, offers the most comprehensively annotated text, complemented by a lucid introduction by one of the most eminent of Nietzsche scholars, Robert C. Holub.
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This paper develops a critical account of evil. By referring to Kant’s moral philosophy, I argue that evil actions have reasons and cannot be explained in terms of a lack of reason. However, these reasons of evil are not obvious but rather forms of rational self-deception. I therefore argue that the phenomenon of evil is complex and involves three dimensions: activity, reasons, and deception.