By Alasdair MacIntyre

A brief heritage of Ethics: A heritage of ethical Philosophy from the Homeric Age to the 20 th Century is a 1966 ebook at the heritage of ethical philosophy through the Scottish thinker Alasdair MacIntyre. it's the first of a chain of books by way of MacIntyre at the heritage and improvement of ethics.

The booklet covers Greek ethics together with Plato and Aristotle, Christian ethical notion together with the paintings of Martin Luther and writers together with Niccolò Machiavelli, Montesquieu, Edmund Burke, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Karl Marx, Søren Kierkegaard, Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche. MacIntyre additionally discusses 20th century philosophers together with G. E. Moore, John Dewey and R. M. Hare.

According to a overview within the magazine of Philosophy, considered one of MacIntyre's fundamental theses within the publication is that "moral thoughts switch as social existence changes" and hence philosophers who think there's one topic of moral inquiry are fallacious. A overview within the British magazine of academic stories describes the booklet as a "stimulating, if hugely impressionistic, account of the historical past of ethics written from the perspective of his personal convictions concerning the nation of ethical concepts".

In a evaluate for The Philosophical assessment, J. B. Schneewind describes the paintings as a "brilliant and provocative book" that's "not lots a heritage of ethics as an essay in regards to the historical past of ethics".

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Sample text

By “the good” he means “the whole of that to which the adjective will apply, and the adjective must always truly apply to it” (p. 9). “I do most fully believe,” he avows, “that some true proposition of the form ‘Intelligence is good and intelligence alone is good’ can be found” (p. 9). A true proposition of this form, he explains, would be not a definition of good, but a definition of the good. What, then, does Moore mean by ‘the good’? On one apparent reading, it is the extension of the adjective ‘good’, the set of all and only those things that are good.

Won’t Foot too recognize that? (I mean here, of course, Mrs. ) If we ourselves think whether to sacrifice anything else to clasp hands, what counts in English as “good” or as a “reason” won’t remotely enter in. What’s wrong isn’t the hand-clasper’s concepts, but his grounds for acting. The Moore-like tests I support, then, do discriminate. I argue later, for instance, that strictly naturalistic ideal observer theories don’t pass them. What, though, of the kinds of analytic equivalences I do accept?

With judicious reading, extension, and revision, though, we can find in Moore the materials to construct a template that an adequate theory 21 22 P re l im in a rie s of normative concepts must match. In Moore’s arguments, moreover, we can find clues as to what underlies the phenomena he discovered. 12, p. 14). 5, p. 5). Moore acquired a philosophical following with these views, but in the decades that ensued, non-natural objects came to look spooky. Moore’s arguments against naturalism, though, had a longer run; they convinced many philosophers that ethical concepts are not purely naturalistic, that we can’t develop a natural science of good and bad.

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