By André Comte-Sponville
André Comte-Sponville, A Small Treatise at the nice Virtues, translated through Catherine Temerson (New York, Holt Paperbacks, 2001)
The in need of it truly is that this booklet will make you are feeling sturdy approximately being good.
The lengthy of it is:
i used to be doing a paper on `value ethics', and my adventure was once that during the realm philosophy, in particular considering 1903, with the publishing of G. E. Moore's Principia Ethica and his promulgation of the `naturalistic fallacy', the honour of values and personality had nearly disappeared. This normal impact was once proven whilst I checked out a number of scholarly ethics texts from the 1960's they usually proven in undeniable conversing, that the learn of ethics had turn into an research of language, given the King Kong sized effect of the works of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the effective Joe younger sized works of J. L. Austin, an immediate descendent of the impression of G. E. Moore's sort of philosophy.
yet I saved following my nostril and in a really fresh ethics ebook via Terry Eagleton, hassle With Strangers, he criticized either ecu psychologized ethics of Jacques Lacan and the 'high-toned' morality speak of legislations, correct, accountability, precept, and legal responsibility traceable to Immanuel Kant. Eagleton additionally pointed out a comparatively new number of papers, advantage Ethics, which headlined an enormous 1958 paper by means of Wittgenstein pupil, G.E.M. Anscombe on `Modern ethical Philosophy' which started a go back to advantage ethics. The irony is that the flaw Anscombe pinpointed in ethical philosophy is the absence of sound research in `philosophical psychology', a topic which regularly sounded strange to me, because the heritage of philosophy, in particular from the traditional Greeks as much as Descartes, was once a spinning off of disciplines to young children akin to physics, arithmetic, and psychology. yet ethics, particularly advantage ethics and a number of the flavors of Utilitarianism stand and fall through what they suggest by way of psychological states corresponding to `pleasure' and `happiness'. So, on reflection, i used to be no longer too stunned while I searched amazon.com for `virtues' and personality, and got here up with not anything yet books on self-help, psychology, and `Christian values'. That final isn't a surprise, because the modern educational ethical philosophy is all approximately principles and values for the gang. It spends almost no time at the ethical standpoint at the person. yet I did locate one sensible booklet on `moral values' that's a becoming supplement to the recent theoretical paintings on virtues. this can be the ebook stated above, by means of a contemporary French professor of philosophy on the Sorbonne. in line with the thumbnail biographical comic strip, this booklet has been translated into 19 languages and has been a bestseller in France.
My first actual reactions have been that the e-book used to be now not a superficially saccharine remedy of the topic and that it did supply severe reflections at the virtues which depended on concepts from many nice philosophers and essayists reminiscent of Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, Augustine, Descartes, Epicurus, Sigmund Freud, Immanuel Kant, Montaigne, Friedrich Nietzsche, Pascal, Plato, Spinoza, and Simon Weil. and people are only the excessive issues. while the name says `great virtues, I part look forward to finding the seven virtues of Catholic theology or `the seven heavenly virtues' which distinction the seven lethal sins. as a substitute, i locate eighteen, with way more congruence with Aristotle than with the church fathers. those eighteen, in a a bit intuitive order, are:
(Sorry, Amazon squeezes out the entire tabs and additional spaces)
Politeness constancy Prudence Temperance
Courage Justice Generosity Compassion
Mercy Gratitude Humility Simplicity
Tolerance Purity Gentleness reliable Faith
The perception of prudence could have been one in all Aristotle's maximum contributions to ethical philosophy. it's the estate which tempers the slavish devotion to ideas to whatever which literally displays good judgment in life.
One irony of advantage ethics is that at the one hand, it's noticeable as a method to set up an ethical idea self sufficient of a trust in God, whereas it additionally appears a stronger embodiment of the Christian ethics of the Gospels than the foundations established taking into consideration Kant or the `greatest solid for the best quantity' utilitarianism of Mill. those are either `Apollonian' forms of ethics. with out checking my Nietzsche texts, i think `virtue ethics' is a extra balanced mixture of the Apollonian with the Dionysian, grounded in instinct, emotion, somewhat risky, and with an appreciation of the chaotic.
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Additional info for A Small Treatise on the Great Virtues: The Uses of Philosophy in Everyday Life
In addition, there is the voice of the ‘commentator’, providing ironical remarks, rhetorical questions, and jokes on the exchange between the previous two voices, thus ultimately dismissing any deﬁnitive view. ). The commentator is neither a realist nor an idealist, neither a behaviourist nor a psychologist, etc. All these doctrines are equally nonsensical and all Wittgenstein really does is to occasionally make this ‘serio-comedy’ patent by means of similes and platitudes (Stern 2004, 25). IV The Articles in This Volume The ﬁrst six articles in this volume discuss, from different perspectives, some fundamental general questions in Wittgenstein interpretation, often with reference to Gordon Baker’s own distinctive later approach.
There is the voice of ‘Wittgenstein’s narrator’ and that of the ‘interlocutor’. In addition, there is the voice of the ‘commentator’, providing ironical remarks, rhetorical questions, and jokes on the exchange between the previous two voices, thus ultimately dismissing any deﬁnitive view. ). The commentator is neither a realist nor an idealist, neither a behaviourist nor a psychologist, etc. All these doctrines are equally nonsensical and all Wittgenstein really does is to occasionally make this ‘serio-comedy’ patent by means of similes and platitudes (Stern 2004, 25).
61 III Questions of Style and Method One challenge to Wittgenstein’s interpretation is the unique way in which his texts are written. His two major works, the Tractatus and the Philosophical Investigations, are not structured in chapters and subchapters displayed by a list of contents. 62 In the Tractatus the prose is condensed to a bare minimum, eliminating any redundancy, with many sentences exhibiting the character of deﬁnitive oracular pronouncements, ordered by means of a weighted system of numeration.
A Small Treatise on the Great Virtues: The Uses of Philosophy in Everyday Life by André Comte-Sponville