There are certain traits that make us good human beings by enabling us to realize our natural ends. From the perspective of such a naturalized virtue ethics, there is nothing obviously unethical or imprudent about the capacity for same-sex love. Moreover, given the resources of this theory, such questions are empirical ones. If the capacity for same-sex love is a trait the possession of which makes one a good human being, then the just state will promote and encourage it, or (...) at least not stand in its way. It can do so by allowing same-sex marriage. (shrink)
I defend a neo-Aristotelian ethical theory I call "naturalized virtue ethics," or NVE. This is a naturalistic, teleological theory. Human beings are a species of social animal for whom there is a characteristic form of life. An individual human being may be evaluated as a good or bad specimen according to how well that individual realizes the human form of life. To be a good human being, one must possess those traits of character that reliably enable one to achieve the (...) ends of creatures like us. ;In Chapter 1, I present reasons for why we should prefer ethical naturalism. ;In Chapter 2, I discuss what to many is still a contentious issue: natural teleology. NVE is teleological. Teleology, both in ethics and in science, has often been looked upon with suspicion. I argue that the teleology operative in NVE is natural, or naturalizable. NVE is on a metaphysically sound foundation. ;In Chapter 3, I further explicate NVE and show how several of the standard virtues are justified by the lights of NVE. I also show the further applications of the theory to issues of distributive justice and law. These examples provide tests of the descriptive and explanatory adequacy of NVE, a test the theory passes. ;In Chapter 4, I consider the charge that ethical naturalism commits some one or other egregious metaethical mistake. This sort of mistake has been associated variously with the fact/value gap, the is/ought gap, and the naturalistic fallacy. I discuss these issues in their general form and relative to NVE, showing that there are no problems here for NVE. ;In Chapter 5, I place NVE is the space of contemporary virtue theories and also contrast it with eudaimonistic or welfare-based ethics and with evolutionary ethics. NVE is a good-based virtue theory, but it is neither a kind of eudaimonism nor an evolutionary ethics. Considerations of evolution lead us to certain criticisms of ethical theories like NVE. Contra the critics, I show NVE's compatibility with neo-Darwinism. I then suggest further research. (shrink)
Hrotsvit wrote stories, plays, and histories during the reign of Emperor Otto the Great. Twelve original essays survey her work, showing historical roots and contexts, Christian values, and a surprisingly modern grappling with questions of identity and female self-realization.
The Hackett edition of this classic of medieval philosophy and mysticism--a plan of pilgrimage for the learned Franciscan wishing to reach the apex of the mystical experience--combines the highly regarded Boehner translation with a new introduction by StephenBrown focusing on St. Francis as a model of the contemplative life, the meaning of the Itinerarium, its place in Bonaventure’s mystical theology, and the plan of the work. Boehner’s Latin Notes, as well as Latin texts from other works of (...) Bonaventure included in the Franciscan Institute Edition, are rendered here in English, making this the edition of choice for the beginning student. (shrink)