By Tertiary Thought on July 31, 2000
A note -- this is not the most abstruse philosophy text I've ever read, but I wouldn't suggest approaching it without some sort of academic philosophy background.
By on September 16, 2013
Rosalind Hursthouse offers an alternative to Kant's deontology or Bentham's utilitarianism. She reworks many of the ideas in Aristole's Nicomachean Ethics to create an ethical system that has these qualities:
(1) The end goal of life is eudaimonia, which is living in a good and characteristically human way, as understood by both the sciences and humanities
(2) Virtues are character traits that help us to live well. And they entail rules, such as "Be courageous!" "Be kind!' etc.
(3) As a normative theory, virtue ethics can answer not only questions about what we should do in a given situation, but it can also answer metaethical questions, such as how we come to understand ethical truths, what desires and motivations reveal about action, and whether there are any objective, moral truths.
Hursthouse's book is programmatic. She doesn't pretend to have all the answers, nor to have written them here. Instead, the greatest strength of this book is to rework many of the ideas from early in her career to try to create a comprehensive system.
If you're into virtue ethics, this is a must read. If you like clear thought about trying to figure out what is moral or immoral, then I highly recommend this book.
By on February 6, 2010
To get an idea, hit the "surprise me!" link under "look inside!" (What's with all these exclamation points?) Or search on the word 'children'; Hursthouse has interesting things to say about how ways of bringing up children reveal thinking about ethics.