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Before we can enter the transcendent consciousness of heavenly tranquillity, we must pass through the fires of hell and experience a dark night of the soul, as our universal self combats our individuated and physical self, as pure knowledge struggles against animalistic will, and as freedom struggles against nature.

One can maintain superficially that no contradiction is involved in the act of struggling i. Within this opposition, it does remain that Will as a whole is set against itself according to the very model Schopenhauer is trying to transcend, namely, the model wherein one manifestation of Will fights against another manifestation, like the divided bulldog ant.

This in itself is not a problem, but the location of the tormented and self-crucifying ascetic consciousness at the penultimate level of enlightenment is paradoxical, owing to its high degree of inner ferocity.

Studies in Pessimism: The Essays

Even though this ferocity occurs at a reflective and introspective level, we have before us a spiritualized life-and-death struggle within the ascetic consciousness. It is a struggle against the close-to-unavoidable tendency to apply the principle of sufficient reason for the purpose of attaining practical knowledge — an application that for Schopenhauer has the repulsive side-effect of creating the illusion, or nightmare, of a world permeated with endless conflict. When the ascetic transcends human nature, the ascetic resolves the problem of evil: by removing the individuated and individuating human consciousness from the scene, the entire spatio-temporal situation within which daily violence occurs is removed.

In a way, then, the ascetic consciousness can be said symbolically to return Adam and Eve to Paradise, for it is the very quest for knowledge i. This amounts to a self-overcoming at the universal level, where not only physical desires are overcome, but where humanly-inherent epistemological dispositions are overcome as well.

At the end of the first volume of The World as Will and Representation , Schopenhauer intimates that the ascetic experiences an inscrutable mystical state of consciousness that looks like nothing at all from the standpoint of ordinary, day-to-day, individuated and objectifying consciousness. This advocacy of mystical experience creates a puzzle: if everything is Will without qualification, then it is unclear where to locate the will-less mystical state of mind.

It cannot be the latter, because individuated consciousness is the everyday consciousness of desire, frustration and suffering. Neither can it be located at the level of Will as it is in itself, because the Will is a blind striving, without knowledge, and without satisfaction. So in terms of its degree of generality, the mystical state of mind seems to be located at a level of universality comparable to that of Will as thing-in-itself.

Since he characterizes it as not being a manifestation of Will, however, it appears to be keyed into another dimension altogether, in total disconnection from Will as the thing-in-itself. In the second volume of The World as Will and Representation , he addresses the above complication, and qualifies his claim that the thing-in-itself is Will. He concludes that mystical experience is only a relative nothingness, that is, when it is considered from the standpoint of the daily world, but that it is not an absolute nothingness, as would be the case if the thing-in-itself were Will in an unconditional sense, and not merely Will to us.

In light of this, Schopenhauer sometimes expresses the view that the thing-in-itself is multidimensional, and although the thing-in-itself is not wholly identical to the world as Will, it nonetheless includes as its manifestations, the world as Will and the world as representation. From a scholarly standpoint, it implies that interpretations of Schopenhauer that portray him as a Kantian who believes that knowledge of the thing-in-itself is impossible, do not fit with what Schopenhauer himself believed. It also implies that interpretations that portray him as a traditional metaphysician who claims that the thing-in-itself is straightforwardly, wholly and unconditionally Will, also stand in need of qualification.

As mentioned above, we can see this fundamental reliance upon the subject-object distinction reflected in the very title of his book, The World as Will and Representation , that can be read as, in effect, The World as Subjectively and Objectively Apprehended. It can be understood alternatively as an expression of the human perspective on the world, that, as an embodied individual, we typically cannot avoid. His view also allows for the possibility of absolute knowledge by means of mystical experience. Schopenhauer also implicitly challenges the hegemony of science and other literalistic modes of expression, substituting in their place, more musical and literary styles of understanding.

His recognition — at least with respect to a perspective we typically cannot avoid — that the universe appears to be a fundamentally irrational place, was also appealing to 20 th century thinkers who understood instinctual forces as irrational, and yet guiding, forces underlying human behavior. Yeats, and Emile Zola. Life: — 2. The World as Will 5.

Transcending the Human Conditions of Conflict 5. Critical Reflections 8. Life: — Exactly a month younger than the English Romantic poet, Lord Byron — , who was born on January 22, , Arthur Schopenhauer came into the world on February 22, in Danzig [Gdansk, Poland] — a city that had a long history in international trade as a member of the Hanseatic League. Bibliography A. Haldane and J. I and II, translated by E.

Payne, New York: Dover Publications Works About Schopenhauer Atwell, J. Barua, A. Gerhard, and M. Kossler eds. Berger, D. Brener, M. Cartwright, D. Copleston, F. Farrelly, D. Fox, M. Gardiner, P. Hamlyn, D. Head, J. Joachim T. Baer and David E. Humphrey, Lewiston, N. Jacquette, D. Janaway, C. Jordan, N. Lauxtermann, P. Magee, B. Mannion, G. Marcin, R. Neeley, S. Neil, A. Peters, M. Ryan, C. Schulz, O. Simmel, G. Tsanoff, R. Vasalou, S. Vandenabeele, B. White, F. Wicks, R. Young, J. Biographies of Schopenhauer published in English Bridgewater, P.

McGill, V. Safranski, R. Ewald Osers, London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson. Wallace, W. Zimmern, H. Academic Tools How to cite this entry. Enhanced bibliography for this entry at PhilPapers , with links to its database. Other Internet Resources Schopenhauer Gesellschaft. Open access to the SEP is made possible by a world-wide funding initiative. If the form of the world is best reflected in the form of music, then the most philosophical sensibility will be a musical sensibility. With respect to the theme of achieving more peaceful and transcendent states of mind, Schopenhauer believes that music achieves this by embodying the abstract forms of feelings, or feelings abstracted from their particular everyday circumstances.

By expressing emotion in this detached way, music allows us to apprehend the nature of the world without the frustration involved in daily life, and hence, in a mode of aesthetic awareness akin to the tranquil philosophical contemplation of the world. This deficiency motivates a shift from musical, or aesthetic, awareness to moral awareness. As many medieval Christians once assumed, Schopenhauer believed that we should minimize our fleshly desires, since moral awareness arises through an attitude that transcends our bodily individuality.

Indeed, he states explicitly that his views on morality are entirely in the spirit of Christianity, as well as being consistent with the doctrines and ethical precepts of the sacred books of India WWR , Section Among the precepts he respects are those prescribing that one treat others as kindly as one treats oneself, that one refrain from violence and take measures to reduce suffering in the world, that one avoid egoism and thoughts directed towards revenge, and that one cultivate a strong sense of compassion. Such precepts are not unique to Christianity; Schopenhauer believes that they constitute most religiously-grounded moral views.

Far from being immoralistic, his moral theory is written in the same vein as those of Immanuel Kant — and John Stuart Mill — , that advocate principles that are in general accord with Christian precepts. Within the moral realm, this quest for transcendence leads him to maintain that once we recognize each human as being merely an instance and aspect of the single act of Will that is humanity itself, we will appreciate that the difference between the tormentor and the tormented is illusory, and that in fact, the very same eye of humanity looks out from each and every person.

According to the true nature of things, each person has all the sufferings of the world as his or her own, for the same inner human nature ultimately bears all of the pain and all of the guilt. Thus, with the consciousness of humanity in mind, a moral consciousness would realize that it has upon and within itself, the sins of the whole world WWR , Sections 63 and Not only, then, does the specific application of the principle of sufficient reason fragment the world into a set of individuals dispersed through space and time for the purposes of attaining scientific knowledge, this rationalistic principle generates the illusion that when one person does wrong to another, that these two people are essentially separate and private individuals.

Just as the fragmentation of the world into individuals is necessary to apply the relationship of causality, where A causes B and where A and B are conceived to be two independent objects, this same cognitive fragmentation leads us to conceive of the relationships between people on a model where some person P acts upon person Q , where P and Q are conceived as two independent individuals. The conditions for scientific knowledge thus have a negative moral impact, because they lead us to regard each other as individuals separate and alien to one another.

By compassionately recognizing at a more universal level that the inner nature of another person is of the same metaphysical substance as oneself, one arrives at a moral outlook with a more concrete philosophical awareness. It is to feel directly the life of another person in an almost magical way; it is to enter into the life of humanity imaginatively, such as to coincide with all others as much as one possibly can.

It is to imagine equally, and in full force, what it is like to be both a cruel tormentor and a tormented victim, and to locate both opposing experiences and characters within a single, universal consciousness that is the consciousness of humanity itself. Just as music embodies the emotional tensions within the world in an abstracted and distanced manner, and thus affords a measure of tranquillity by presenting a softened, sonic image of the daily world of perpetual conflict, a measure of tranquillity also attends moral consciousness.

Negatively considered, moral consciousness delivers us from the unquenchable thirst that is individuated human life, along with the unremitting oscillation between pain and boredom. One becomes like the steadfast tree, whose generations of leaves fall away with each passing season, as does generation after generation of people Homer, Iliad , Book VI. This fatalistic realization is a source of comfort and tranquillity for Schopenhauer, for upon becoming aware that nothing can be done to alter the course of events, he finds that the struggle to change the world quickly loses its force see also WWR , Section Schopenhauer denies the common conception that being free entails that, for any situation in which we acted, we could always have acted differently.

He augments this denial, however, with the claim that each of us is free in a more basic sense. Just as individual trees and individual flowers are the multifarious expressions of the Platonic Ideas of tree and flower, each of our individual actions is the spatio-temporal manifestation of our respective innate or intelligible character. Character development thus involves expanding the knowledge of our innate individual tendencies, and a primary effect of this knowledge and self-realization is greater peace of mind WWR , Section Moreover, since our intelligible character is both subjective and universal, its status coordinates with that of music, the highest art.

According to Schopenhauer, aesthetic perception offers only a short-lived transcendence from the daily world. Neither is moral awareness, despite its comparative tranquillity in contrast to the daily world of violence, the ultimate state of mind. Schopenhauer believes that a person who experiences the truth of human nature from a moral perspective — who appreciates how spatial and temporal forms of knowledge generate a constant passing away, continual suffering, vain striving and inner tension — will be so repulsed by the human condition, and by the pointlessly striving Will of which it is a manifestation, that he or she will lose the desire to affirm the objectified human situation in any of its manifestations.

The result is an attitude of denial towards our will-to-live, that Schopenhauer identifies with an ascetic attitude of renunciation, resignation, and willessness, but also with composure and tranquillity. Moral consciousness and virtue thus give way to the voluntary poverty and chastity of the ascetic. Before we can enter the transcendent consciousness of heavenly tranquillity, we must pass through the fires of hell and experience a dark night of the soul, as our universal self combats our individuated and physical self, as pure knowledge struggles against animalistic will, and as freedom struggles against nature.

One can maintain superficially that no contradiction is involved in the act of struggling i. Within this opposition, it does remain that Will as a whole is set against itself according to the very model Schopenhauer is trying to transcend, namely, the model wherein one manifestation of Will fights against another manifestation, like the divided bulldog ant. This in itself is not a problem, but the location of the tormented and self-crucifying ascetic consciousness at the penultimate level of enlightenment is paradoxical, owing to its high degree of inner ferocity.

Even though this ferocity occurs at a reflective and introspective level, we have before us a spiritualized life-and-death struggle within the ascetic consciousness. It is a struggle against the close-to-unavoidable tendency to apply the principle of sufficient reason for the purpose of attaining practical knowledge — an application that for Schopenhauer has the repulsive side-effect of creating the illusion, or nightmare, of a world permeated with endless conflict.

When the ascetic transcends human nature, the ascetic resolves the problem of evil: by removing the individuated and individuating human consciousness from the scene, the entire spatio-temporal situation within which daily violence occurs is removed. In a way, then, the ascetic consciousness can be said symbolically to return Adam and Eve to Paradise, for it is the very quest for knowledge i. This amounts to a self-overcoming at the universal level, where not only physical desires are overcome, but where humanly-inherent epistemological dispositions are overcome as well.

At the end of the first volume of The World as Will and Representation , Schopenhauer intimates that the ascetic experiences an inscrutable mystical state of consciousness that looks like nothing at all from the standpoint of ordinary, day-to-day, individuated and objectifying consciousness. This advocacy of mystical experience creates a puzzle: if everything is Will without qualification, then it is unclear where to locate the will-less mystical state of mind.

It cannot be the latter, because individuated consciousness is the everyday consciousness of desire, frustration and suffering. Neither can it be located at the level of Will as it is in itself, because the Will is a blind striving, without knowledge, and without satisfaction. So in terms of its degree of generality, the mystical state of mind seems to be located at a level of universality comparable to that of Will as thing-in-itself. Since he characterizes it as not being a manifestation of Will, however, it appears to be keyed into another dimension altogether, in total disconnection from Will as the thing-in-itself.

In the second volume of The World as Will and Representation , he addresses the above complication, and qualifies his claim that the thing-in-itself is Will. He concludes that mystical experience is only a relative nothingness, that is, when it is considered from the standpoint of the daily world, but that it is not an absolute nothingness, as would be the case if the thing-in-itself were Will in an unconditional sense, and not merely Will to us.

In light of this, Schopenhauer sometimes expresses the view that the thing-in-itself is multidimensional, and although the thing-in-itself is not wholly identical to the world as Will, it nonetheless includes as its manifestations, the world as Will and the world as representation. From a scholarly standpoint, it implies that interpretations of Schopenhauer that portray him as a Kantian who believes that knowledge of the thing-in-itself is impossible, do not fit with what Schopenhauer himself believed. It also implies that interpretations that portray him as a traditional metaphysician who claims that the thing-in-itself is straightforwardly, wholly and unconditionally Will, also stand in need of qualification.

As mentioned above, we can see this fundamental reliance upon the subject-object distinction reflected in the very title of his book, The World as Will and Representation , that can be read as, in effect, The World as Subjectively and Objectively Apprehended. It can be understood alternatively as an expression of the human perspective on the world, that, as an embodied individual, we typically cannot avoid. His view also allows for the possibility of absolute knowledge by means of mystical experience. Schopenhauer also implicitly challenges the hegemony of science and other literalistic modes of expression, substituting in their place, more musical and literary styles of understanding.

His recognition — at least with respect to a perspective we typically cannot avoid — that the universe appears to be a fundamentally irrational place, was also appealing to 20 th century thinkers who understood instinctual forces as irrational, and yet guiding, forces underlying human behavior. Yeats, and Emile Zola. Life: — 2. The World as Will 5. Transcending the Human Conditions of Conflict 5. Critical Reflections 8. Life: — Exactly a month younger than the English Romantic poet, Lord Byron — , who was born on January 22, , Arthur Schopenhauer came into the world on February 22, in Danzig [Gdansk, Poland] — a city that had a long history in international trade as a member of the Hanseatic League.

Bibliography A. Haldane and J. I and II, translated by E. Payne, New York: Dover Publications Works About Schopenhauer Atwell, J. Barua, A. Gerhard, and M. Kossler eds. Berger, D. Brener, M. Cartwright, D. Copleston, F. Farrelly, D. Fox, M. Gardiner, P. Hamlyn, D.

Head, J. He thought that Geist moves immanently through human history, and that the various stages of knowledge are also stages of freedom, each stage producing first its own internal contradiction, and then a radical transition into a new stage. The stage of absolute freedom will be one in which all members freely by reason endorse the organic community and the concrete institutions in which they actually live Phenomenology , BB, VI, B, III.

One of Hegel's opponents was Arthur Schopenhauer — , the philosopher of pessimism. Schopenhauer thought that Hegel had strayed from the Kantian truth that there is a thing-in-itself beyond appearance, and that the Will is such a thing. It is, moreover, one universal Will that underlies the wills of all separate individuals. The intellect and its ideas are simply the Will's servant. On this view, there is no happiness for us, and our only consolation is a quasi-Buddhist release from the Will to the limited extent we can attain it, especially through aesthetic enjoyment.

Right Hegelians promoted the generally positive view of the Prussian state that Hegel expressed in the Philosophy of Right. Left Hegelians rejected it, and with it the Protestant Christianity which they saw as its vehicle. In this way Hegel's peculiar way of promoting Christianity ended up causing its vehement rejection by thinkers who shared many of his social ideals. Feuerbach thought religion resulted from humanity's alienation from itself, and philosophy needed to destroy the religious illusion so that we could learn to love humankind and not divert this love onto an imaginary object.

Karl Marx —83 followed Feuerbach in this diagnosis of religion, but he was interested primarily in social and political relations rather than psychology. He became suspicious of theory for example Hegel's , on the grounds that theory is itself a symptom of the power structures in the societies that produce it. Marx returned to Hegel's thoughts about work revealing to the worker his value through what the worker produces, but Marx argues that under capitalism the worker was alienated from this product because other people owned both the product and the means of producing it.

Thus he believed, like Hegel, in progress through history towards freedom, but he thought it would take Communist revolution to bring this about. Kierkegaard mocked Hegel constantly for presuming to understand the whole system in which human history is embedded, while still being located in a particular small part of it. On the other hand, he used Hegelian categories of thought himself, especially in his idea of the aesthetic life, the ethical life and the religious life as stages through which human beings develop by means of first internal contradiction and then radical transition.

Kierkegaard's relation with Kant was problematic as well. On the other hand, his own description of the religious life is full of echoes of Kant's Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. Kierkegaard wrote most of his work pseudonymously, taking on the names of characters who lived the lives he describes. This life deconstructs, because it requires in order to sustain interest the very commitment that it also rejects.

The transition is accomplished by making a choice for one's life as a whole from a position that is not attached to any particular project, a radical choice that requires admitting the aesthetic life has been a failure. But this life too deconstructs, because it sets up the goal of living by a demand, the moral law, that is higher than we can live by our own human devices. Friedrich Nietzsche — was the son of a Lutheran pastor in Prussia. He was trained as a classical philologist, and his first book, The Birth of Tragedy , was an account of the origin and death of ancient Greek tragedy.

The breaking point seems to have been Wagner's Parsifal. Nietzsche saw clearly the intimate link between Christianity and the ethical theories of his predecessors in Europe, especially Kant. It is harder to know what Nietzsche was for, than what he was against. This is partly an inheritance from Schopenhauer, who thought any system of constructive ethical thought a delusion. To return to Britain, Hume had a number of successors who accepted the view which Hume took from Hutcheson that our fundamental obligation is to work for the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

Four are especially significant. William Paley — thought he could demonstrate that morality derived from the will of God and required promoting the happiness of all, that happiness was the sum of pleasures, and that we need to believe that God is the final granter of happiness if we are to sustain motivation to do what we know we ought to do The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy , II.

Jeremy Bentham — rejected this theological context. He thought he could provide a scientific calculus of pleasures, where the unit that stays constant is the minimum state of sensibility that can be distinguished from indifference. Discarding the theological context made moral motivation problematic, for why should we expect without God more units of pleasure for ourselves by contributing to the greater pleasure of others?


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John Stuart Mill —73 was raised on strict utilitarian principles by his father, a follower of Bentham. Unlike Bentham, however, Mill accepted that there are qualitative differences in pleasures simply as pleasures, and he thought that the higher pleasures were those of the intellect, the feelings and imagination, and the moral sentiments. He observed that those who have experienced both these and the lower pleasures, tend to prefer the former. He realized that his education had neglected the culture or cultivation of feelings , of which hope is a primary instance Autobiography , 1.

Mill did not believe, however, that God was omnipotent, given all the evil in the world, and he insisted, like Kant, that we have to be God's co-workers, not merely passive recipients of God's assistance. Henry Sidgwick — in Methods of Ethics distinguished three methods: Intuitionism which is, roughly, the common sense morality that some things, like deliberate ingratitude to a benefactor, are self-evidently wrong in themselves independently of their consequences , Egoistic Hedonism the view that self-evidently an individual ought to aim at a maximum balance of happiness for herself, where this is understood as the greatest balance of pleasure over pain , and Utilitarianism or Universalistic Hedonism, the view that self-evidently she ought to aim at the maximum balance of happiness for all sentient beings present and future, whatever the cost to herself.

Of these three, he rejected the first, on the grounds that no concrete ethical principles are self-evident, and that when they conflict as they do we have to take consequences into account in order to decide how to act. But Sidgwick found the relation between the other two methods much more problematic. Each principle separately seemed to him self-evident, but when taken together they seems to be mutually inconsistent. He considered two solutions, psychological and metaphysical.

The psychological solution was to bring in the pleasures and pains of sympathy, so that if we do good to all we end up because of these pleasures making ourselves happiest. Sidgwick rejected this on the basis that sympathy is inevitably limited in its range, and we feel it most towards those closest to us, so that even if we include sympathetic pleasures and pains under Egoism, it will tend to increase the divergence between Egoistic and Utilitarian conduct, rather than bring them closer together.

The metaphysical solution was to bring in a god who desires the greatest total good of all living things, and who will reward and punish in accordance with this desire. He thought this solution was both necessary and sufficient to remove the contradiction in ethics. But this was only a reason to accept it, if in general it is reasonable to accept certain principles such as the Uniformity of Nature which are not self-evident and which cannot be proved, but which bring order and coherence into a central part of our thought.

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Sidgwick did not commit himself to an answer to this, one way or the other. Towards the end of the century, however, there were more philosophers who could speak the languages of both traditions. The beginning of the analytic school is sometimes located with the rejection of a neo-Hegelian idealism by G. Moore One way to characterize the two schools is that the Continental school continued to read and be influenced by Hegel, and the Analytic school with some exceptions did not. Another way to make the distinction is geographical; the analytic school is located primarily in Britain, Scandinavia and N.

America, and the continental school in the rest of Europe, in Latin America and in certain schools in N. We will start with some figures from the Continental school, and then move to the analytic which is this writer's own. Martin Heidegger — was initially trained as a theologian, and wrote his dissertation on what he took to be a work of Duns Scotus. He took an appointment under Edmund Husserl — at Freiburg, and was then appointed to succeed him in his chair.

In this sense he is the first existentialist, though he did not use the term. On the other hand he is unlike Kierkegaard in thinking of traditional Christianity as just one more convention making authentic existence more difficult.


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In Heidegger, as in Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, it is hard to find a positive or constructive ethics. Heidegger's position is somewhat compromised, moreover, by his initial embrace of the Nazi party. In his later work he moved increasingly towards a kind of quasi-religious mysticism. He denied like Scotus that the moral law could be deduced from human nature, but this was because unlike Scotus he thought that we give ourselves our own essences by the choices we make.

On this view there are no outside commands to appeal to for legitimation, and we are condemned to our own freedom. Sartre thought of human beings as trying to be God on a Hegelian account of what God is , even though there is no God. Moreover, we inevitably desire to choose not just for ourselves, but for the world. Therefore, I am responsible for myself and for everyone else. I am creating a certain image of man of my own choosing. One form of bad faith is to pretend that there is a God who is giving us our tasks.

To live authentically is to realize both that we create these tasks for ourselves, and that they are futile. The twentieth century also saw, within Roman Catholicism, forms of Christian Existentialism and new adaptations of the system of Thomas Aquinas. Gabriel Marcel — , like Heidegger, was concerned with the nature of Being as it appears to human being, but he tried to show that there are experiences of love, joy, hope and faith which, as understood from within , give us reason to believe in an inexhaustible Presence, which is God.

Jacques Maritain — developed a form of Thomism that retained the natural law, but regarded ethical judgment as not purely cognitive but guided by pre-conceptual affective inclinations. He gave more place to history than traditional Thomism did, allowing for development in the human knowledge of natural law, and he defended democracy as the appropriate way for human persons to attain freedom and dignity. Natural law theory has been taken up and modified more recently by three philosophers who write in a style closer to the analytic tradition, John Finnis, Alastair MacIntyre and Jean Porter.

Finnis holds that our knowledge of the fundamental moral truths is self-evident, and so is not deduced from human nature. His Natural Law and Natural Rights was a landmark in integrating the modern vocabulary and grammar of rights into the tradition of Natural Law. MacIntyre, who has been on a long journey back from Marxism to Thomism, holds that we can know what kind of life we ought to live on the basis of knowing our natural end, which he now identifies in theological terms.

In After Virtue he is still influenced by a Hegelian historicism, and holds that the only way to settle rival knowledge claims is to see how successfully each can account for the shape taken by its rivals. A different account of natural law is found in Porter, who in Nature as Reason retains the view that our final motivation is our own happiness and perfection, but rejects the view that we can deduce absolute action-guiding moral principles from human nature.

They are not Roman Catholic but they are strongly influenced by Aristotle and Aquinas. They emphasize the notion of virtue which belongs to human nature just as bees have stings. Hursthouse ends her book by saying that we have to hold onto the hope that we can live together, not at each other's expense, a hope which she says used to be called belief in God's Providence On Virtue Ethics , One final contribution to be mentioned here is Linda Zagzebski's Divine Motivation Theory which proposes, as an alternative to divine command theory, that we can understand all moral normatively in terms of the notion of a good emotion, and that God's emotions are the best exemplar.

We will return to the rebirth of divine command theory at the end of this entry.

Foucault criticized Christian conventions that tend to take morality as a juristic and often universal code of laws, and to ignore the creative practice of self-making. Even if Christian and post-Christian moralists turn their attention to self-expression, he thought they tend to focus on the confession of truth about oneself, a mode of expression which is historically linked to the church and the modern psycho-sciences.

He did not, however, tell us much more about what these new forms would be like. I and II. By analyzing the structure of communication using speech-act theory developed in analytic philosophy he lays out a procedure that will rationally justify norms, though he does not claim to know what norms a society will adopt by using this procedure. The two ideas behind this procedure are that norms are valid if they receive the consent of all the affected parties in unconstrained practical communication, and if the consequences of the general observance of the norms in terms of how each person's interests are affected are acceptable to all.

Habermas thinks he fulfills in this way Hegel's aim of reconciling the individual and society, because the communication process extends individuals beyond their private perspectives in the process of reaching agreement. Religious convictions need to be left behind when entering the public square, on this scheme, because they are not communicable in the way the procedure requires. In recent work he has modified this position, by recognizing that certain religious forms require their adherents to speak in an explicitly religious way when advancing their prescriptions for public life, and it is discriminatory to try to prevent their doing so.

Within contemporary Jewish ethics mention should be made of Martin Buber — and Emmanuel Levinas — Buber's form of existentialism emphasized the I-You relationship, which exists not only between human beings but out of that between human beings and God. When we reject I-You relationship, we return to I-It relations, governed by our impositions of our own conceptualizations on objects. Buber said these two relations are exhaustive.

Levinas studied under Husserl, and knew Heidegger, whose work he first embraced and then rejected. To meet the Other is to have the idea of Infinity Ethics and Infinity , 90—1. This term is problematic in various ways. As used within architectural theory in the 's and 's it had a relatively clear sense. There was a recognizable style that either borrowed bits and pieces from styles of the past, or mocked the very idea in modernist architecture of essential functionality.

In philosophy, the term is less clearly definable. The effect on philosophical thinking about the relation between morality and religion is two-fold. On the one hand, the modernist rejection of religion on the basis of a foundationalist empiricism is itself rejected. This makes the current climate more hospitable to religious language than it was for most of the twentieth century.

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But on the other hand, the distaste for over-arching theory means that religious meta-narratives are suspect to the same degree as any other, and the hospitality is more likely to be towards bits and pieces of traditional theology than to any theological system as a whole. Mention should be made of some movements that are not philosophical in a professional sense, but are important in understanding the relation between morality and religion. The civil rights movement drawing heavily on Exodus , feminist ethics, animal liberation, environmental ethics, and the gay rights and children's rights movements have shown special sensitivity to the moral status of some particular oppressed class.

The leadership of some of these movements has been religiously committed, while the leadership of others has not. At the same time, the notion of human rights, or justified claims by every human being, has grown in global reach, partly through the various instrumentalities of the United Nations. There has, however, been less consensus on the question of how to justify human rights. There are theological justifications, deriving from the image of God in every human being, or the command to love the neighbor, or the covenant between God and humanity see Wolterstorff, Justice : Rights and Wrongs , chapter Whether there is a non-theological justification is not yet clear.

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Finally, there has also been a burst of activity in professional ethics, such as medical ethics, engineering ethics, and business ethics. This has not been associated with any one school of philosophy rather than another. The connection of religion with these developments has been variable. In some cases e. The origin of analytic philosophy can be associated with G. His Principia Ethica can be regarded as the first major ethical document of the school.

He was strongly influenced by Sidgwick at Cambridge, but rejected Sidgwick's negative views about intuitionism. He thought that intrinsic goodness was a real property of things, even though like the number two it does not exist in time and is not the object of sense experience. For example, they proposed that goodness is pleasure, or what produces pleasure. But whatever non-evaluative property we try to say goodness is identical to, we will find that it remains an open question whether that property is in fact good.

For example, it makes sense to ask whether pleasure or the production of pleasure is good. This is true also if we propose a supernatural property to identify with goodness, for example the property of being commanded by God. It still makes sense to ask whether what God commands is good.

Moore thought that if these questions are different, then the two properties, goodness and being commanded by God, cannot be the same, and to say by way of a definition that they are the same is to commit the fallacy. Intrinsic goodness, Moore said, is a simple non-natural property i. By this he meant that the access was not based on inference or argument, but was self-evident though we could still get it wrong, just as we can with sense-perception. He thought the way to determine what things had positive value intrinsically was to consider what things were such that, if they existed by themselves in isolation, we would yet judge their existence to be good.

Russell was not primarily a moral philosopher, but he expressed radically different views at different times about ethics. In he agreed with Moore that goodness like roundness is a quality that belongs to objects independently of our opinions, and that when two people differ about whether a thing is good, only one of them can be right. Then by he had dropped also the claim about meaning, holding that value judgments are expressions of desire or wish, and not assertions at all.

Wittgenstein's views on ethics are enigmatic and subject to wildly different interpretations. Ethics is transcendental. Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same. Perhaps he means that the world we occupy is good or bad and happy or unhappy as a whole, and not piece-by-piece. Wittgenstein like Nietzsche was strongly influenced by Schopenhauer's notion of will, and by his disdain for ethical theories that purport to be able to tell one what to do and what not to do. Ayer — The emotivist theory of ethics had its most articulate treatment in Ethics and Language by Charles Stevenson — Stevenson was a positivist, but also the heir of John Dewey — and the American pragmatist tradition.

Dewey had rejected the idea of fixed ends for human beings, and stressed that moral deliberation occurs in the context of competition within a person between different ends, none of which can be assumed permanent. He criticized theories that tried to derive moral principles from self-certifying reason, or intuition, or cosmic forms, or divine commands, both because he thought there are no self-certifying faculties or self-evident norms, and because the alleged derivation disguises the actual function of the principles as devices for social action.

Stevenson applied this emphasis to the competition between people with different ends, and stressed the role of moral language as a social instrument for persuasion Ethics and Language , Ch. On his account, normative judgments express attitudes and invite others to share these attitudes, but they are not strictly speaking true or false.

Wittgenstein did not publish any book after the Tractatus , but he wrote and taught; and after his death Philosophical Investigations was published in The later thought of Wittgenstein bears a similar relation to the Tractatus as Heidegger bears to Husserl. In both cases the quest for a kind of scientific certainty was replaced by the recognition that science is itself just one language, and not in many cases prior by right.

In Oxford there was a parallel though distinct development centering round the work of John Austin — Austin did not suppose that ordinary language was infallible, but he did think that it preserved a great deal of wisdom that had passed the test of centuries of experience, and that traditional philosophical discussion had ignored this primary material. First, it is prescriptive, which is to say that moral judgments express the will in a way analogous to commands.

This preserves the emotivist insight that moral judgment is different from assertion, but does not deny the role of rationality in such judgment. Second, moral judgment is universalizable. This is similar to the formula of Kant's categorical imperative that requires that we be able to will the maxims of our actions as universal laws.

Third, moral judgment is overriding. This means that moral prescriptions legitimately take precedence over any other normative prescriptions. In Moral Thinking Hare claimed to demonstrate that utilitarianism followed from these three features of morality, though he excluded ideals in the sense of preferences for how the world should be independently of the agent's concurrent desires or experience from the scope of this argument. God enters in two ways into this picture. Hare acknowledge that since archangels e.

Second, we have to be able to believe as Kant argued that the universe sustains morality in the sense that it is worthwhile trying to be morally good. The most important opponent of utilitarianism in the twentieth century was John Rawls — In his Theory of Justice he gave, like Hare, an account of ethics heavily indebted to Kant. Rawls thought it important that substantive conceptions of the good life were left behind in moving to the Original Position, because he was attempting to provide an account of justice that people with competing visions of the good could agree to in a pluralist society.

Like early Habermas he included religions under this prohibition. In Political Liberalism he conceded that the procedure of the Original Position is itself ideologically constrained, and he moved to the idea of an overlapping consensus: Kantians can accept the idea of justice as fairness which the procedure describes because it realizes autonomy, utilitarians because it promotes overall utility, Christians because it is part of divine law, etc.

But even here Rawls wanted to insist that adherents of the competing visions of the good leave their particular conceptions behind in public discourse and justify the policies they endorse on grounds that are publicly accessible. He described this as the citizen's duty of civility Political Liberalism , iv. The section of this entry on the continental school discussed briefly the topic of postmodernism. Within analytic philosophy the term is less prevalent. But both schools live in the same increasingly global cultural context. In this context we can reflect on the two main disqualifiers of the project of relating morality intimately to religion that seemed to emerge in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The first disqualifier was the prestige of natural science, and the attempt to make it foundational for all human knowledge. The various empiricist, verificationist, and reductionist forms of foundationalism have not yet succeeded, and even within modern philosophy there has been a continuous resistance to them. This is not to say they will not succeed in the future for example we may discover a foundation for ethics in the theory of evolution , but the confidence in their future success has waned.

Moreover, the secularization hypothesis seems to have been false, as mentioned earlier. Certainly parts of Western Europe are less attached to traditional institutional forms of religion. But taking the world as a whole, religion seems to be increasing in influence rather than declining as the world's educational standards improve. The second main disqualifier was the liberal idea present in the narrative of this entry from the time of the religious wars in Europe that we need a moral discourse based on reason and not religion in order to avoid the hatred and bloodshed that religion seems to bring with it.

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Here the response to Rawls has been telling. It is true that religious commitment can produce the deliberate targeting of civilians in a skyscraper. But the history of the twentieth century suggests that non-religious totalitarian regimes have at least as much blood on their hands. Perhaps the truth is, as Kant saw, that people under the Evil Maxim will use any available ideology for their purposes.

This writer has done some of this discussion, and found the common ground surprisingly extensive, though sometime common language disguises significant differences. Progress seems more likely in this way than by trying to construct a neutral philosophical ground that very few people actually accept. One recent development in analytic ethical theory has been a revival of divine command theory parallel to the revival of natural law theory that I have already described.

Though we could stipulate such a definition, it would make it obscure how theists and non-theists could have genuine moral discussion, as they certainly seem to do.