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Released in 1984, Steven E. Rhoads' classic was considered by many to be among the best introductions to the economic way of thinking and its applications. This anniversary edition has been updated to account for political and economic developments - from the greater interest in redistributing income and the ascendancy of behaviorism to the Trump presidency. Rhoads explores opportunity cost, marginalism, and economic incentives and explains why mainstream economists - even those well to the left - still value free markets. He critiques economics for its unbalanced emphasis on narrow self-interest as controlling motive and route to happiness, highlighting philosophers and positive psychologists' findings that happiness is far more dependent on friends and family than on income or wealth. This thought-provoking tour of the economist's mind is a must read for our times, providing a clear, lively, non-technical insight into how economists think and why they shouldn't be ignored.
The conceptual framework that accompanies stylistic virtue was the product of over two thousand years of rhetorical, critical, and philosophical development, much of which appears to collapse in the first decades of the twentieth century. However, the Afterword suggests that stylistic virtue persisted in constituent and strategically obscured forms: for example, in T.S. Eliot’s analysis of stylistic “impersonality” and I.A. Richards’s conception of the poem as “pseudo-statement.” The Afterword goes on to claim that contemporary virtue theory provides a promising avenue for the continued defense of style, and of aesthetic value more generally, as an ethical good, offering an innovative way of defending the humanities at a moment of contemporary crisis.
This Element presents an interpretation and defence of Philippa Foot's ethical naturalism. It begins with the often neglected grammatical method that Foot derives from an interpretation of Ludwig Wittgenstein's later philosophy. This method shapes her approach to understanding goodness as well as the role that she attributes to human nature in ethical judgment. Moral virtues understood as perfections of human powers are central to Foot's account of ethical judgment. The thrust of the interpretation offered here is that Foot's metaethics takes ethical judgment to be tied to our self-understanding as a sort of rational animal. Foot's metaethics thereby offers a compelling contemporary approach that preserves some of the best insights of the Aristotelian tradition in practical philosophy.
The NT displays the greatest intellectual retrieval of Hebraic thought and literature in antiquity. In this chapter, I explore the idea that the New Testament authors largely favor the Hebraic philosophical style and strategically engage the styles of Jewish-Hellenism and Roman philosophy. Any consideration of the philosophical style of the NT authors must reckon with the Hellenistic styles du jour. Hellenism’s philosophies developed into sophisticated Roman rhetorical forms in the first century, forms in which some of the NT authors might have been steeped. In this chapter, I consider which aspects of Hebraic and Hellenistic philosophical styles the gospel authors employ and possible motivations behind their employments.
The volume closes by setting out an agenda for further research that follows from the findings of the case studies in three governance areas of security, environmental, and business governance. Based on the findings, we argue that responsibility should be considered as a methodological tool for scholars of global politics as it bridges the gap between politics, law, and ethics. The role of ethics in particular deserves further engagement, and responsibility as a category of practice provides a suitable approach towards this end. As the literature on ‘virtue ethics’ has highlighted, neither universal benchmarks nor a reliance on consequentialist arguments offer suitable leverage for analysis for communities and norms that develop and are maintained in practice. Rather, it is through an engagement with practices of knowledge creation and embedded ethics of the actors involved that we can shed light on the workings of global politics. Virtue ethics may be used for a critical and emancipatory research agenda that could be expanded to look into, for instance, global North-South relations or non-Western governance proposals.
This introductory chapter introduces the topics of the book and its main purposes in light of past scholarship. It emphasises how people hold contrasting perspectives and assumptions about the place of emotions in human social life. These contrasting orientations unfold into different approaches to educating emotions, and for how teachers should treat students, in relation to their emotional experiences and expressions. It first examines some possible assumptions that readers may have about the role of emotions in education. These assumptions are examples of contrasting perspectives about emotions and education. These are (1) that education does not particularly involve emotions, and (2) that emotions are a part of education, but this is non-controversial, with a consensus on the topic established. The chapter explores these assumptions and challenges them. The last section of the chapter explains the goals of this book, and gives an overview of the main contents of the chapters that follow.
This chapter introduces the book’s argument and provide the necessary context for it, addressing ethics in the Old Testament, virtue ethics, objections to this project, the moral philosophers used therein, including Aristotle, Aquinas and MacIntyre, as well as an outline of chapters and methodology.
Happiness has been a major topic of philosophical and other forms of investigation throughout history. Happiness has often been held as an end and a means to good life. People have generally sought happiness, and happiness is related in common and academic discourse to progress, success, and value. However, not all traditions prize happiness, and the definition of happiness and its implications for social life and education are contested. How to measure it, whether one can measure it, and how to know it when you see it, are some puzzles psychologists and philosophers (among others) grapple with. This chapter gives a brief history of the concept of happiness alongside other concepts, of eudemonia and well-being, from philosophical orientations, in psychology, and from the perspective of the politics of emotions. It traces how these views have shaped educational aims and strategies. The analysis here emphasises the need for consideration of more critical approaches to happiness as an educational aim, despite the praise of happiness as a good in itself in much of western philosophy and psychology.
Philosophers throughout history have pondered the relationship between emotions, rationality, and morality, and their implications for education. This chapter presents an overview of basic points and issues of contention within and across philosophical perspectives related to these topics. It considers particularly deontology, consequentialism, virtue ethics, care ethics and other relational views, and existentialism. A significant part of the chapter explores virtue ethics, as virtue ethics is seen to philosophically undergird the majority of morally-oriented social and emotional learning and character education approaches in western societies . The role in virtue ethics of emotions in moral and social life overlaps in some cases with those found in the social sciences, as well as those seen within some eastern traditions. Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism will also be discussed here. The chapter thus summarises major insights and points of debate across philosophies related to educating emotions.
In this text, the role of emotions in education and society has been examined from various perspectives, particularly from psychological, philosophical, and other theoretical and political views. To develop more in-depth understanding about emotions in social life, a number of emotional virtues have also been explored at length. These include basic emotions, like happiness, sadness, and fear; emotional virtues often idealised, such as gratitude and compassion; and more complex emotional and cognitive-based dispositions prized in contemporary education and society, like resilience, grit, and mindfulness. A complicated account has been given, based on an interdisciplinary orientation toward emotional virtues and educating emotions in society. As seen here, the means and ends of educating emotional virtues are not simple and straightforward, given diversity in experiences, identities, and norms around emotional expectations in society. While educational implications have been discussed across chapters, thus far such considerations have been specific to particular emotional domains and contexts. This conclusion elaborates further on a more global perspective on educating emotional virtues in schools and society.
In this book, Arthur Keefer offers a new interpretation of the book of Proverbs from the standpoint of virtue ethics. Using an innovative method that bridges philosophy and biblical studies, he argues that much of the instruction within Proverbs meets the criteria for moral and theological virtue as set out in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. Keefer presents the moral thought of Proverbs in its social, historical, and theological contexts. He shows how these contexts shed light on the conceptualization of virtue, the virtues that are promoted and omitted, and the characteristics that make Proverbs a distinctive moral tradition. In giving undivided attention to biblical virtue, this volume opens the way for new avenues of study in biblical ethics, including law, narrative, and other aspects of biblical instruction and wisdom.
This Element provides an overview of the central components of recent work in virtue ethics. The first section explores central themes in neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics, while the second turns the discussion to major alternative theoretical perspectives. The third section focuses on two challenges to virtue ethics. The first challenge is the self-centeredness or egoism objection, which is the notion that certain kinds of virtue ethics are inadequate because they advocate a focus on the person's own virtue and flourishing at the expense of, or at least without due regard for, the concerns of others. The second is situationist challenges to the ideas that there are indeed virtues and that personality is integrated enough to support virtues.
Virtue epistemology is one of the most flourishing research programmes in contemporary epistemology. Its defining thesis is that properties of agents and groups are the primary focus of epistemic theorising. Within virtue epistemology two key strands can be distinguished: virtue reliabilism, which focuses on agent properties that are strongly truth-conducive, such as perceptual and inferential abilities of agents; and virtue responsibilism, which focuses on intellectual virtues in the sense of character traits of agents, such as open-mindedness and intellectual courage. This volume brings together ten new essays on virtue epistemology, with contributions to both of its key strands, written by leading authors in the field. It will advance the state of the art and provide readers with a valuable overview of what virtue epistemology has achieved.
Finance may suffer from institutional deformations that subordinate its distinctive goods to the pursuit of external goods, but this should encourage attempts to reform the institutionalization of finance rather than to reject its potential for virtuous business activity. This article argues that finance should be regarded as a domain-relative practice (Beabout 2012; MacIntyre 2007). Alongside management, its moral status thereby varies with the purposes it serves. Hence, when practitioners working in finance facilitate projects that create common goods, it allows them to develop virtues. This argument applies MacIntyre’s widely acknowledged account of the relationship between practices and the development of virtues while questioning some of his claims about finance. It also takes issue with extant accounts of particular financial functions that have failed to identify the distinctive goods of financial practice.
Chapter 1 gives two answers to the question, why should we care about meaning? The first answer comes from Blaise Pascal. He was appalled at people who appear to be indifferent to the meaning of their lives because, he believes, everyone naturally cares about meaning. Given this fact, we expect that everyone will care about meaning. This expectation is muted somewhat, however, by the fact that there are a number of causes of indifference. A second answer to the question of the chapter connects caring about meaning with believing in God: we should care about meaning because God has given us desires for intrinsic goods and right pleasures and because God desires for us to satisfy these desires. This answer is compatible with duty ethics (deontological ethics), happiness ethics (hedonism), and virtue ethics. The chapter suggests that caring about meaning can be regarded as a virtue alongside traditional virtues, and it describes the features of such a virtue.
The revival of Aristotelian virtue ethics can be seen as a response to the modern problem of disenchantment, that is, the perceived loss of meaning in modernity. However, in Virtue and Meaning, David McPherson contends that the dominant approach still embraces an overly disenchanted view. In a wide-ranging discussion, McPherson argues for a more fully re-enchanted perspective that gives better recognition to the meanings by which we live and after which we seek, and to the fact that human beings are the meaning-seeking animal. In doing so, he defends distinctive accounts of the relationship between virtue and happiness, other-regarding demands, and the significance of linking neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics with a view of the meaning of life and a spiritual life where contemplation has a central role. This book will be valuable for philosophers and other readers who are interested in virtue ethics and the perennial question of the meaning of life.
Friendship across a society includes the mild manners of doux commerce. Aristotle ranks economic exchanges according to increasing levels of friendliness: from cash on the barrel, to giving the partner extra time to repay, to a loan, to a gift with strings attached. Instead of reducing each to self-interest (like modern economists do), he finds commodity exchange has a tincture of the goodness of the next level up (interest-free loans), just as loans retain some of the goodness of outright gifts. Across a chasm of differences, we can still observe similar passions today: affection for customers, pride in one’s economic contribution (“gift”), wanting societal recognition (honor) for it. Adam Smith thought this vanity was the root of morality. Full morality is not required for civic friendship but only middle-class “virtues” (Politics, Books 3-4). Fair markets help maintain liberal civic friendship. When free markets are replaced by rent-seeking (crony capitalism, regulatory capture, lobbying), the game becomes rigged and we leave behind win-win assumptions for zero-sum assumptions, in which anyone else’s gain must be my loss. Our mild manners degenerate into resentment and discord.
This chapter on participation in goodness, and on ethics or a good life, has been prepared for by the previous chapter, on beauty and desire. Like the chapter on truth and epistemology before that, this chapter on goodness is robustly realist: it sees what would be morally good for a person, community, or situation to align with the reality and good of the thing considered, which it has by participation in God. The twin focuses here are virtue ethics (which is explored in terms of the alignment of the good-as-moral with the good-as-excellent) and natural law (which is explored in terms of the alignment of the good-as-moral with the good-as-beneficial). No firm wedge, however, is driven between those two approaches, which are both related to God as source and goal in participatory terms. The chapter moves to a discussion of the expectation of the coherence of the good in a participatory framework, such that the goodness that creatures have (and, here, especially human beings) is expected naturally to align with the nature of the good as communicated, for instance, in revelation. This is explored in contrast with the thought of John Duns Scotus. The chapter ends with a participatory discussion of the nature of law in its various forms, including the participatory and theological backdrop to notions of international law.
The final chapters of this book look at how a participatory outlook can inform and has informed a vision of the world and what it means to live, act, pray, and seek God in it. This, the first of these chapters, considers knowledge and knowing in participatory terms. Knowledge is seen as a participation of the knower in the known, or a sharing from the known to the knower. This undergirds a 'realist' epistemology, in that knowing rests on the reality of the thing that is known. That said, it also stresses the creaturehood and particularity of the knower and the manner of knowing: that which is known comes to be in the knower in the manner of the knower, whether we are talking about our knowledge of an animal, of a plant, or of God. In the case of God, most of all, the knower never exhausts the depths of what is known. That also applies, however, although to a different degree, in the knowledge of even mundane things, since their deepest reality is a participation in God, which confers a creaturely form of inexhaustibility. In these ways, much of this chapter is an exploration of 'intra-finite participation': about how one creature participates in, or donates to, another. It closes with a discussion of the relation between reason and revelation.