By Lawrence C. Becker, Charlotte B. Becker
This newly revised and up-to-date version of A heritage of Western Ethics is a coherent and obtainable assessment of crucial figures and influential rules of the historical past of ethics within the Western philosophical culture.
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A deeper look into their work would reveal its importance for the history of such concepts as conscience and the will. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958 . Paris: Belles Lettres, 1967. Cicero. On Duties. Margaret Atkins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. Includes complete translation. Leiden: Brill, 1985. Dobbin, R. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998. A Commentary on Cicero, “De officiis”Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1966. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1967. The best introduction in English to the Roman ethical tradition.
Nonetheless, he succeeded in articulating a concept of honestum, “moral goodness,” which treated the conventionally praiseworthy aspects of virtus as things that are desirable just for their own sake. Traditional Roman virtus was not, or was not analyzed as being, a moral character grounded in articulated reasons. In its idealized form, however, it did imply norms of conduct aimed at promoting and respecting another’s good. What the traditionally “good man” does he does, in respect of his virtus, for others—for state, family, friends.
Again drawing on Stoicism, he identifies law with the perfection of reason. ” “Natural” law—as represented in the perfection of reason—is to be contrasted with the particular edicts of a society, which are often arbitrary and unjust. LONG Stoicism, as a justification for traditional Roman values and as a critique of what he took to be their contemporary perversion. In his political conservatism he contrasts sharply with the Epicurean Lucretius. ) as an ethical savior for the Rome of his own day.
A History of Western Ethics by Lawrence C. Becker, Charlotte B. Becker