By Lawrence C. Becker, Charlotte B. Becker
This newly revised and up to date variation of A historical past of Western Ethics is a coherent and obtainable evaluation of crucial figures and influential principles of the historical past of ethics within the Western philosophical culture.
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Extra resources for A History of Western Ethics
Cicero, in an ambitious series of essays, expounded many of the doctrines of the Hellenistic schools of philosophy. The two authors were not professional philosophers, and present themselves, in the main, as disseminators of this Greek material. Yet at many points they convey their own viewpoint on the contemporary world, or rather, they use their philosophical material as a vehicle for commenting on the contemporary corruption of Roman values. It was the political crisis of the Roman Republic that primarily stimulated ethical reflection at Rome.
On the evidence of Cicero’s De officiis Panaetius played down this physical and theological dimension, fastening his attention on human nature. ) Whatever may have been his reasons for doing so, the outcome, at least in Cicero’s adaptation of his work, is a detailed system of moral rules, grounded in general principles but elaborated casuistically. E. This work has been emphasized here for three reasons. First, it is his only philosophical essay which draws exclusively on Stoicism. Cicero was officially an Academic, and elsewhere, though sympathetic to Stoicism, he prefers not to commit himself to that school’s doctrinal rigidity.
From Anselm to Alan of Lille A growth in theology and philosophy paralleled the expansion of agriculture and population beginning in the eleventh century. Perhaps the most subtle intellect of the early part of this period was Anselm of Bec (1033–1109), later Archbishop of Canterbury. Anselm’s interest in the logical analysis of concepts reflects the influence of his teacher, Lanfranc (c. 1005–1089), as well as the growing debate on the use of logic in theology.