By Kenan Malik
During this extraordinary and groundbreaking ebook, Kenan Malik explores the background of ethical notion because it has built over 3 millennia, from Homer's Greece to Mao's China, from old India to fashionable the US. It tells the tales of the nice philosophers, and breathes lifestyles into their principles, whereas additionally not easy lots of our such a lot loved ethical beliefs.
Engaging and provocative, The Quest for an ethical Compass confronts a few of humanity's private questions. the place do values come from? Is God invaluable for ethical guidance?
Are there absolute ethical truths? It additionally brings morality right down to earth, displaying how, all through heritage, social wishes and political wants have formed ethical considering. it's a historical past of the realm instructed in the course of the historical past of ethical proposal, and a heritage of ethical suggestion that casts new mild on international history.
At a time of serious social turbulence and ethical uncertainty, there'll be few histories extra vital than this.
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Extra info for The Quest for a Moral Compass
It condemned him to death by hemlock. Few philosophers were held in greater esteem in the ancient world than Socrates. 2 Why, then, did Athens put its most famous son to death? The trial of Socrates, and his execution, took place against the background of the Peloponnesian War. The twenty-seven-year conflict between Athens and Sparta had ended with Athenian defeat in 404 BCE, five years before the trial. Athens was reduced to a state of subjection, never regaining its pre-war influence or prosperity, while Sparta established itself as the leading power of Greece.
Or, to be more precise, it means acting virtuously in accordance with reason. 61 There were, for Aristotle, two kinds of virtues: moral and intellectual. Moral virtues are character traits, of which Aristotle mentions twelve: courage, temperance, generosity, magnificence, magnanimity, pride, patience, honesty, wittiness, friendliness, modesty and righteous indignation. Intellectual virtues consist of abilities such as intelligence or foresight that help formulate plans and calculate consequences.
Socrates (and the reader) seemingly comes 42 away empty handed. Euthyphro leaves without being able to establish the meaning of piety; and while Socrates has mown down all his definitions, he has not replaced them with one of his own. And yet, Socrates has established something important, not just about piety, or goodness, but about morality itself, by suggesting that goodness, and hence morality, should have an objective existence independent of either gods or humans. This raises, however, a host of new questions.
The Quest for a Moral Compass by Kenan Malik