Kants Deontological Moral Hypothesis

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PHILOSOPHY: Immanuel Kant

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In Jena, Pufendorf like Leibniz after him lived and studied with Erhard Weigel β€” , the eclectic mathematician and polymath who had moved there from Leipzig several years earlier by whom he was introduced to Galileo, Grotius, Descartes, and Hobbes β€” authors without whom his future views would have been unimaginable. It was from Weigel, too, that Pufendorf seems to have derived the important distinction between physical and moral entities, as well as the methodological ideal of a mathematically rigorous, or demonstrative system of moral philosophy Sprenger to which he initially aspired especially in distinguishing himself from Aristotelian virtue theory.

Esaias had already parlayed such contacts into a Swedish diplomatic career and now urged his brother to do the same, in view of the limited professional prospects in Saxony. This choice proved eventful, for when Charles X. Gustav unexpectedly renewed the First Northern War β€” against Denmark, the Swedish delegation was imprisoned for eight months. It was then, without access to library or books, that Pufendorf wrote his first major work, Elements of Universal Jurisprudence EJU , which is explicitly based on Grotius and Hobbes. In spring he was enrolled at Leiden University, and though we have few details about this period it appears that he turned to philology again.

He became acquainted with the classical scholar Johann Friedrich Gronovius and prepared editions of several Neo-Latin works, including Johannes Meursius, Miscellanea Laconica and Johannes Lauremberg, Graecia antiqua Heidelberg: The Palatinate was one of the most devastated and depopulated regions during the Thirty Years War, and its university reopened only in The latter included a number of Swedish nobles β€” such as his former charge, the young Wilhelm Julius Coyet, and the son of the Swedish chancellor Gabriel Gabrielsson Oxenstierna, and the illegitimate son of the late Charles X.

Gustav Gustav Carlsson β€” some of whom also resided with Pufendorf. Sweden: Pufendorf arrived in Lund in mid to assume his position as professor primarius of the law of nature and of nations in the Law faculty , and of ethics and politics in the Philosophy faculty. Immediately popular as a teacher, well-connected at court, as well as confident and outspoken, he was soon embroiled in personal and academic conflicts with some of his colleagues, particularly the jurist Nikolaus Beckmann and the theologian Josua Schwartz, who recruited the Lutheran bishop of Lund Peter Winstrup to their cause.

The religious coloration of some accusations made it a dangerous matter for Pufendorf, yet he managed through his court connections to suppress both the Index and the relentless attacks in Lund Beckmann was eventually banished. His articulate responses during this prolonged debate, including his self-justificatory autobiography, were later published under the title of Scandinavian Quarrel ES c. The collection not only reveals Pufendorf as a consummate polemicist but is also valuable for the clarification of important points in his natural law treatises, and as an entry into the bitter debates in Germany between secular natural lawyers and the Lutheran scholastics and theologians whom they challenged De Angelis This war also occasioned a Danish invasion of Scania, including Lund, and even though the young Charles XI β€” defeated the invaders, the university remained closed for years.

So Pufendorf moved to Stockholm , assuming the duties of royal Swedish historiographer and, later, privy councillor and private secretary to the dowager queen, Hedwig Eleonora. He continued to cultivate his relations with the Swedish ruling class, wrote additional political opinions including Dissertation on the Alliances between Sweden and France [Occas. These accounts focused mainly on external, international affairs. Pufendorf had also lectured on history at Lund and Heidelberg, and in after the appearance of a pirated, Swedish version of this material based on student notes, he issued one of only two works in German An Introduction to the History of the Principal Kingdoms and States of Europe Einl.

The twelfth chapter of this work contains a long, critical account of the papacy that had appeared pseudonymously several years earlier Basilii Hyperetae historische und politische Beschreibung der geistlichen Monarchie des Stuhls zu Rom []. Moreover, through the English version it acquired a thirteenth chapter, which is a actually a condensation β€” by the translator Jodocus Crull, see Seidler β€” of the independent volume on Sweden Continued Introduction [Einl.

Both Introductions underwent multiple editions in many languages well into the 18th century. This was doubly attractive at the time. Among the last works written by Pufendorf in Sweden was a defense of Cartesianism in the sense of independent philosophical inquiry against the Swedish clergy, who had sought to ban it from the universities there in KVS e, pp. Gustav, the Swedes were loath to send him to Berlin. He arrived in Berlin in early , actually to prepare a history of Frederick William who died later that year but formally as an aulic and privy councillor, positions with greater status at court than royal historian. During the next six years Pufendorf completed his history of the Great Elector Fr. Moreover, he prepared a revised edition of The Present State of Germany published by Nikolaus Gundling in and he wrote The Divine Feudal Law Feciale a , a work on inter-confessional reconciliation among Lutherans and Calvinists and, barring that, religious and political toleration.

A stroke or aneurism while in Stockholm led to other medical complications that resulted in his death, in Berlin, on Oct. Quite appropriately, given his life-long interest in lay theology and his involvement with informal religious gatherings called collegia pietatis , as well as his emphasis on the biblical and moral dimensions of religion rather than its doctrinal aspects, the funeral sermon at the Nikolai-Kirche, where he lies buried, was delivered by his close friend, Philipp Jakob Spener β€” , one of the founders of German Pietism.

The intellectual tradition with which Pufendorf is associated, and to which he was later seen as central, has been variously termed modern, secular, or Protestant. Indeed, the first chapter of his Sample of Controversies Specimen controversiarum , ; in ES originated the historiography of the genre. See section 5. As critics of that self-interpretation have pointed out and Pufendorf himself admitted, elements of the approach were already present in previous traditions, including Stoicism, Roman law, Christian and scholastic thought particularly Vitoria, Vasquez, and Suarez , and the Grotius commentary literature Tierney , Brett , Haakonssen , Seelmann , Oakley , Behme , Hartung , Reibstein β€” Still, Pufendorf and those who shared his outlook claimed a kind of Baconian novelty for their enterprise.

For there, the Dutch classicist, ambassador, and corporate counsel for the Dutch East India Company challenged the moral relativism advocated by the ancient skeptic, Carneades, by laying out the basic requirements of communal living. Unlike Carneades, his professional concerns were not epistemological argument, moral proof, or philosophical system as such, but rather the concrete mitigation of conflicts and the maintenance of peace. Appealing to a so-called principle of sociality or sociability conceived as both presupposition and requirement , he sought to identify the most general or minimal, and thus most widely acceptable, rights and laws of human association.

These focused mainly, in his own case, on international matters of war and peace, but in other natural lawyers like Pufendorf they addressed the entire range of human affairs. The modernity of the project, as well as its secularism, lay as noted in the intentional avoidance of biblical, theological, and confessional presuppositions, and in the rejection of the essentialism and associated teleology of classical abstract realism β€” which were thought to generate or exacerbate rather than to resolve intellectual and practical controversies Forbes , Tuck and , Todescan , Ekardt and Richter , Hunter b.

This reading of the modern natural law project is rooted in the texts, it was promoted by Barbeyrac, and it has been persuasively articulated mainly by Tuck , However, aside from criticisms focused on its casting of Grotius and Hobbes Mautner , Sommerville , Zagorin , it also seems wanting now as a comprehensive interpretation of Pufendorf by being too inattentive to his more immediate social and intellectual contexts. These included the political and confessional status of the Empire and, more specifically, the metaphysical, theological, and Lutheran culture of northern Germany, Saxony in particular β€” as represented by conservative, Platonizing scholastics like Johann Benedict Carpzov, Adam Scherzer, Valentin Veltheim, and Valentin Alberti, with whom Pufendorf and his younger colleague, Christian Thomasius β€” , contended through much of their academic lives Hunter b, ; Palladini ; Sparn This conflict was practical and immediate as well as theoretical, affecting German academic culture for another century up to and including Kant Hunter For the opponents propounded a theocratic politics guided by Scriptural interpretation and supernatural metaphysics accessible only or especially to philosophical theologians, in contrast to the secular conception of the state and its subsidiary institutions such as the judiciary and the universities proposed by Pufendorf and Thomasius.

In fact, the two readings may intersect and complement one another. For Grotius, Hobbes, and also Descartes especially his idea of philosophical liberation and innovation certainly influenced Pufendorf, albeit in a characteristically German, Protestant, and Lutheran setting that he helped to transform with their assistance Friedeburg , Friedeburg and Seidler , Dufour , Schmoeckel b.

Clearly, early modern Protestantism was in this as well as other respects a house divided, pitting those inclined to transcendent metaphysics and theological authority against the innovators who rejected this approach. Of course, it is the latter stream β€” to which Grotius, Hobbes, Pufendorf, C. Because of its rejection of scholastic rationalism and universalism, and its interest in the particular, the singular, and the irregular Seidler on various levels of analysis i.

In sum, the approach was secular rather than atheistic, as it typically combined relatively sparse convictions derived from natural theology understood as a minimalist philosophical view about a creative, providential deity and his formal role in generating moral obligation with an emphasis on personal religiosity and confessional neutrality, especially in the political sphere. That is, it privatized and to some extent moralized religion, it demarcated theology from philosophy Tully , and it denied theoretical and political advantage to dogmatists, including those inclined to play the God card from the side of reason or philosophical metaphysics.

Initially he followed the example of Weigel, his Cartesian mentor at Jena whose own Arithmetic Description of Moral Wisdom would appear only in ; see Weigel , by employing a quasi-mathematical approach that aspired to demonstrative certitude in moral matters in place of Aristotelian probabilism. However, Pufendorf adapted this approach in subsequent works. Thus, beginning with his dissertations at Heidelberg, and then in the major natural law writings at Lund that emerged therefrom, Pufendorf eliminated the formal scaffolding of the mos geometricus and interacted more explicitly and directly with other, historical authors. The new approach enlisted his considerable erudition DAS cites over two hundred sources β€” in a transitional culture where a reputation for being learned remained important β€” while avoiding mere commentary or appeal to intellectual authority, procedures which he explicitly dismissed.

The goal remained comprehensive understanding and demonstrative certitude, but one informed by wide and reflectively appropriated experience derived from a careful study of history and contemporary events , and thus yielding a more empirically grounded and realistic think Thucydides, Tacitus, Machiavelli, Lipsius, Hobbes sort of moral and political argument. Moral entities specify the basic terms, concepts, categories, distinctions, and classifications β€” in a sense, the metaethical grammar and vocabulary β€” out of which shared moral discourse is constituted.

Conversely, they designate the ontological correlates or referents of this discourse, which are reliant on and yet distinct from the merely physical beings or settings in which they actually inhere. See Statu 1, , pp. Much of the machinery of moral entities was carried forward from the EJU to DJN where, after being formally elaborated in the early chapters, it clearly structures the whole work. DJN I. Accordingly, one might describe the former as foundational or structural categories, and the latter as subsidiary, instrumental, or discretionary tools of analysis.

All moral entities, however, of whatever type, depend for their existence on the will of intelligent beings who externally assign normative, action-directing significance to things intrinsically lacking this, but nonetheless somehow compatible with or receptive to it. Personhood or moral substantiality refers in turn to the various roles or agencies that humans play or assume in such contexts, either simply as individuals, or as composites or collectives, and either on their own behalf or for others e. Since we typically enact multiple, overlapping moral personae, it is possible for these to conflict, not only in the case of individuals but also collectives like economic associations, religious groups, and political entities like states, empires, or confederations.

It is therefore important to articulate the respective obligations and rights of different kinds of persons, and to assess and rank them in terms of their relative moral importance. Such distinctions require the use of moral qualities and quantities, which are respectively affective and estimative modes. The latter involve the valuation of persons, things, or actions in terms of their social status or esteem, their price economic value , or their desert as in punishment and reward β€” all of which are inexact, comparative, and subject to alteration or adjustment i. Moral qualities, in turn, affect have an effect on persons and are either formal e. See Auer , for an association with Hohfeld. Though it may also be classed as a passive moral quality as in allowing someone rightly [ recte ] to receive things , it is active insofar as it permits us to command persons and possess things.

See Hruschka [ et alia]. Pufendorf clarifies obligation at DJN I. Both are needed, since reverence without fear does not explain the compellingness of obligation, while fear without reverence does not explain its legitimacy DJN III. This analysis applies to obligation under both divine and human law, and in the former case, especially, it raises the question of whether voluntarism or intellectualism, or an amalgam, offers a more adequate account of moral duty. However, the so-called natural goodness or evil of things, their ability to benefit or harm us, provide the rationale for the imposition of moral entities by intelligent beings from which obligation springs.

That is, they have especially in the case of natural goods a sort of evidentiary function, explaining why the obliger wills such-and-such, and why the obligee wills or might be motivated to its acceptance. Thus, when discussing moral persons Pufendorf says that the impositions which produce that rank or status should have a positive effect solidus effectus on humankind and not be made frivolously, as when Caligula declared his horse a senator, when the ancient Romans deified their emperors, and when papists, still, declare saints by a similar sort of post-mortem canonization β€” all with normative impact DJN I.

In sum, while natural good and evil are not the source of obligation per se, and moral necessity is not hypothetical in that sense, they do explain why there is such a thing as obligation at all, or what the point of it is. Moreover, since what benefits or harms humans is known through experience, empirical investigation, and knowledge of the past history , these operate as heuristics for determining our obligations and explain why, in some cases, there may be disagreement about them. Of course, such differences do not concern whether moral commands as such formally obligate or not, but whether specific actions are in fact morally commanded.

DJN alone contains two versions: one II. These two treatments share a common conception of legal obligation as justified imposition by a beneficent superior with access to sanctions. This does not make them redundant, however, even if the political institutions created to eliminate the second, pre-civil state of nature are enjoined by same natural law that also commands or induces humans to leave their prior, pre-cultural and bestial states. Civil sovereignty and its mechanisms are needed precisely because the cooperative institutions e.

Indeed, since similar difficulties arise among civil states themselves, in an international state of nature, there is need for yet another solution at that level. This discussion provides a bridge between the conceptual analysis of law and obligation, in Book I, and the following chapter II. The latter show humans to be weak, diverse, and sometimes perverse: not only are they anxious, ambitious, envious, superstitious, resentful, vain, vindictive, and the like; but they often disagree with one another as well, even themselves; and yet unlike other living things they are incapable of securing their basic needs without the aid of creatures like themselves.

For mutual assistance to be possible, however, and to avoid the difficulties continually generated by the traits above, human action must be constrained by laws of freedom, as it were. Without these, humans would sink below the level of brutes, whose welfare is non-voluntarily secured by physical laws, and they would remain at liberty only to disrupt and destroy one another. This sort of inconsistency in human nature was β€” on religious, rational, prudential, and it seems aesthetic grounds β€” unacceptable to Pufendorf.

The natural state is a theoretical mechanism for further articulating these considerations. A relative notion, it appears in three distinct but overlapping versions, the third of which is specially elaborated by the DJN VII. Each version involves a polarity or implied contrast: the natural state toward God ad Deum , that in regard to oneself in se , and that toward other human beings ad alios homines. The second natural state, with respect to oneself in se , designates the basic helplessness of solitary humans and their almost inevitable lapse into an uncultivated, bestial life without mutual assistance.

Classical accounts of this state depict individual humans as frustrated in their most basic needs and desires, and as incapable of the refinement needed to develop their distinctive faculties and exercise their freedom. Human interaction can sometimes and to some extent eliminate the natural state in this sense β€” a process facilitated by their prior, and concurrent, emergence from the mere state of humanity. As the third natural state shows, however, humans may also threaten, endanger, or interfere with one another unless their freedom is effectively restrained by law. Here law means more than the self-interpreted moral law already operative in the first two states of nature which, pace Hobbes, are not entirely lawless or amoral ; rather it refers to civil law which must be imposed by a political superior with both the authority and the effective power to command.

Hence this natural state is best described as a pre-civil state, in contrast to the pre-cultural and merely human states. Instead, norms emerge as one leaves such natural conditions. As already suggested, the three conditions overlap. That is, as neither beasts nor gods, they lack the automatism of the former and the spontaneous goodness of the latter, and always carry a fallible burden of judgment, as it were. The latter two states may coincide as well, though usually incompletely, in that humans may exit a pre-cultural state of need while still in a pre-civil state of insecurity, or they may enjoy the security of a civil state while relatively deprived of cultural goods. As well, even though need satisfaction and cultural development typically occur before and apart from political order, in cities as opposed to states, the latter sometimes seem a precondition of the former processes β€” as Pufendorf knew well from the circumstances of the Thirty Years War.

The pre-cultural and pre-civil states of nature especially i. The former is purely mythical or hypothetical in that no humans can exist without their fellows. Complete non-cooperation or complete hostility are simply impossible, since no one would survive, and the only reason to consider such scenarios is as heuristic devices highlighting the conditions that humans actually inhabit Behme a. Indeed, as Rousseau would iterate in his own way, extreme versions of the natural state are mere extrapolations from the more limited, or mixed, conditions found in actual human history and experience β€” as when rival families, clans, states, or occasionally formerly cultivated and civil-ized individuals e.

The paradoxical upshot of his examination is that humans as such never were, are, or will be in a pure, full, or perfect natural state, since it would be a completely barbarous, bellicose, and thus deadly condition. Thus far, Hobbes was correct. Accordingly, humans cannot ever β€” at least in this life β€” entirely leave the natural state in all three senses behind, as they are always imperfectly socialized, only partially cultivated, and incompletely or inadequately civil-ized politic-ized. This explains their lifelong subjection to moral law and obligation however understood , and their need β€” Pufendorf thought β€” for some sort of civil subjugation.

That is, insofar as they manage to survive and thrive at all, they do so through incompletely realized forms of social cooperation that must in a variety of ways be constantly maintained and improved. This law does not rest on an intrinsic morality of actions, an absolute value of persons, on common agreement among humans, or even on the long-term utility that generally follows compliance with its injunctions DJN II. DJN II. However, the voluntarist problem of arbitrariness is avoided by positing Pufendorf thinks proving, through natural theology [DO I. More agnostically, one might refer to the benignity of things, as it were, the starting assumption that, at the least, the world is not decidedly against us.

In short, God is not perverse, and the world not entirely inhospitable to morality and human welfare. Pufendorf acknowledges the fundamental reality of self-love and the possibility of reading the natural law as a merely instrumental rule. However, he denies that self-love is the only human motive or necessarily in conflict with other motives, and argues that in fact its aims can be fully or really achieved only through the natural law; this does command humans to love themselves, albeit in a mitigated, restrained, and thus more successful way DJN II. That is, humans are not totally selfish or totally altruistic, but partially both.

Hence the natural law does not forbid the pursuit of self-interest but merely regulates it, enjoining both the care of self and the care of others that humans already seek in a limited and inadequate fashion. The argument certainly requires its voluntarist and theistic premise, but it relies as much on the compatible and, supposedly, confirmatory deliverances of general human experience. In practice, given the stakes involved according to either interpretation, it often may not matter which is emphasized. The first category is treated separately in the pedagogically oriented DO I. The three most important human institutions governed by hypothetical laws of nature are speech, dominion over things property and price the valuation of things , and human sovereignty including the civil state β€” the subjects of DJN IVβ€”V and VIβ€”VIII.

Book II concludes with three more chapters treating the various duties toward ourselves II. Before turning to various categories of hypothetical duties in Book III, Pufendorf examines several absolute requirements toward other humans. The first is the prime natural law directive β€” also found in Grotius and Hobbes β€” without which social life could not exist: that no one should injure another and, if they have, that reparation should be made DJN III.

The basis of this requirement is not human nature regarded metaphysically or transcendentally as an absolute value, but a so-called equality of right or law ius consisting merely of our joint obligation per natural law to cultivate a social life DJN III. Human moral equality so conceived also leads Pufendorf to reject the notion of natural slavery, even though he allows its compatibility with certain kinds of contractual subjection in both pre-civil and civil society DJN III. This introduces the important distinction between perfect and imperfect duties, the latter consisting of so-called duties of humanity which, though owed in the same sense as perfect duties, cannot be compelled.

Duties of humanity often depend on special circumstances. Since imperfect duties of humanity do not suffice for maintaining social relations, particularly those involving precise mutual expectations, Pufendorf introduces DJN III. The natural law stipulates no specifics here but merely commands that we enter into some such consensual arrangements, since without them sociality would be hampered and humans remain in the natural state. Pact-generated obligations are both adventitious, or based upon some antecedent human deed responding to circumstance, and perfect in the sense of specific and compellable.

They arise from either unilateral promises or bilateral agreements, and they create perfect rights i. Given its importance for the development of human social life, five more chapters are devoted to the topic of promises and pacts: on their nature, subject-matter, types, and conditionality, as well as the sorts of individual and collective agents capable of generating consent-based obligations by promising or agreeing with one another. The discussion as a whole is fundamental to the hypothetical laws of nature articulated in the rest of the work, in the context of various consensually created adventitious human institutions.

Rather, it falls into two partially overlapping sectors. Both require the creation of new, complex, and formally organized kinds of human cooperation that address both the growing diversity and inconsistency of human desires, and the increase in human numbers. Fundamental to both developments, however, is the institution of human speech and the rules that make it effective, or possible DJN IV. For without speech in the sense of symbolic communication human sociality would remain at a primitive and unsustainable level, in that the terms of human cooperation could not be articulated and agreed upon.

Unlike natural signs or associations e. DJN IV. Thus Pufendorf distinguishes between lies mendacia and untruths falsiloquia and also allows for noninjurious deceptions DJN IV. Pufendorf returns to it repeatedly in discussing the duties of esp. It is because of this flexibility and consequent slipperiness of language that he goes on to treat of oaths DJN IV.

Of course, since oaths themselves involve presumptions and tacit conditions arising from the nature of particular cases DJN IV. Thus, like other human institutions based on pacts, the rules of speech both antedate civil sovereignty but come eventually to depend on it in certain ways as well. Property designates a moral quality imposed on things, and it has a moral effect on other humans rather than or beside a physical impact on the things or animals owned DJN IV. Before or without such agreements, worldly objects are in a state of negative community, meaning that they belong to no one in particular but lie open for anyone to use as needed DJN IV.

While Pufendorf acknowledges a kind of primitive community within family units, under the aegis of the father, he distinguishes this from positive communion in the sense of common ownership Buckle Both this and private dominion, or property properly speaking, arise gradually with the proliferation and dispersion of family units, as humans and their needs multiply DJN IV. For under such conditions it becomes necessary to distinguish mine from thine through certain exclusionary conventions, if quarrels are to be avoided. Typically but optionally , humans agree to a right of first occupancy or direct use, limited by the proviso of actual utility and the ability to defend what is occupied DJN IV.

Also, since property is a moral relationship rather than a physical quality, the same things may be subject to different types of overlapping ownership DJN IV. Dominion need not be exclusive, and humans may grant others a perfect or imperfect right over their possessions. Since owned objects serve different uses and are not equally valued by everyone, their exchange requires a common measure of comparison to determine their so-called moral quantity, or price DJN V. Price is either ordinary or eminent, the latter determined by money as an independent, or objective, unit of value.

Money is explicitly created to serve the ends of exchange among both individuals and states, and without it commercial pacts, or contracts, regarding both goods and services are inconceivable DJN V. While civil rulers have the authority to regulate property relationships in their realms particularly specific forms of acquisition like hunting and fishing , and trade with outsiders, they are less free to determine the relative price of things since such arbitrariness would disrupt economic exchange, especially interstate commerce DJN IV. In general, sovereign determinations are less apt or useful in pre- or non-civil institutions that relieve human need, than in regard to those that insure human security β€” if these can be distinguished.

Like physical bodies, the moral body of the state is substantively composed of lesser members, particularly the simple and thus primary associations collegia of marriage, family, and household DJN VI. In their reproductive, rearing, and economic functions, these basic societies mainly address the problem of human want or need, though they also offer a minimal level of security. Their existence shows that social cooperation is not suddenly imposed on isolated human beings with the creation of states, but that the latter is an additional form of association introduced to protect and maintain already existing social units. Despite the natural inclinations that induce individuals to form or enter them, these proto-civil arrangements are, like states, based on agreements, and they exhibit authority relations more or less analogous to civil sovereignty DJN VI.

The latter becomes necessary only when pre-civil societies increase in size, number, and complexity to the point where their interactions become dysfunctional and security problems unmanageable. As in the case of other moral entities that are superimposed on one another, states do not replace pre-civil societies but only protect, order, and β€” under certain conditions β€” utilize them. At the same time, especially in the case of other types of sub-state associations such as churches, they may also liberate individuals from them by divorcing civil from religious authority, and allowing religious diversity in the state. See Seidler Humans are obligated to enter it, though only in a general way that presupposes capacity, opportunity, and other facilitating conditions.

Despite being commanded by God β€” like other natural law obligations β€” its immediate origins lie in each instance in a consensual pact between basically equal partners DJN VI. Though its end differs from that of the state reproduction vs. What is impermissible in both cases and institutions, however, because of its supposed dysfunctionality for governance, is a divided command or two heads. It is important to recall in this context the difference between modern and medieval natural law, and that Pufendorf does not conceive human nature in essentialist terms but rather generalizes rightly or wrongly from experience.

That is, apart from his personal presuppositions, his is an empirical and not a metaphysical argument, and this makes it both circumstantial and corrigible. To dismiss it out of hand ironically risks reaffirming the very approach that he rejected in general , and to overlook the flexibility and liberatory potential of his conception of natural law Drakopolou Pufendorf also extends his analysis into the controversial subject of polygamy β€” which he deemed rationally elusive and sometimes permissible DJN VI. These and other discussions are historically and circumstantially embedded, which accounts for their considerable length and detail, especially when compared with shorter treatments in other early modern authors like Hobbes and Locke.

One human institution generates and qualifies another as the parental role supervenes on that of marital partner. Here Pufendorf follows Hobbes in holding that mere generation cannot ground parental authority just as place of birth alone cannot ground patriotism , and that this depends instead on a tacit pact based on utility DJN VI. Children supposedly assent to their subjection in order to survive, and because otherwise the beneficial ends of parenthood, which include the rearing, socializing, and civic education of offspring, cannot be attained.

Moreover, he concurs, though mothers have primary authority over children in the state of nature where parents are roughly equal, fathers typically acquire supremacy through marriage pacts, which may be dictated by civil laws DJN VI. As in the spousal relationship and for similar reasons, parents cannot be equally authoritative or sovereign vis-a-vis their children, but one or the other must prevail. DJN VI. Herilic or master-slave relationships are similar to but stricter than parental ties, and they have no natural expiration point.

They too are based on express or tacit pacts, with no natural basis beside the qualifying suitability of some persons to rule and others to be ruled DJN VI. Even the offspring of slaves may be retained in that status, especially when it has been entered through war, although humanity vs. States may regulate herilic relationships like marital and parental ties, for appropriate reasons, even though they often do not interfere. These reasons are similar to those why the civil bond between ruler and ruled may be broken. Both rest on the same natural law foundation, namely the sociality law which regulates not only pre-civil relations, institutions, and societies but also the civil condition needed to secure them.

It is a defensive and precautionary response to such emergent conditions, a kind of cooperative scheme conspiratio or mutual protection association created as needed against the growing threat posed by other human beings DJN VII. It is not required to eliminate human need indigentia in the pre-cultural natural state, since cities and other forms of association usually suffice for that DJN VII. Rather it secures these social arrangements and their cultural gains in the context of increased human numbers, relative scarcity and competition, growing disagreements, and the ensuing insecurity that comes from the interaction of individually weak and imperfectly social beings. Still, his comments are qualified even here, in opposition to Hobbes, and they do not amount to an anthropological claim about the exclusive selfishness of all human beings β€” which is not needed for the argument DJN VII.

In fact, the discussion of pre-civil conditions and institutions clearly tempers such pessimism. For while those arrangements rely on formal promises and pacts, they are also induced by and certainly compatible with mutual affection, a desire for friendship, and the enjoyment of conviviality DJN VII. To be sure, such means and motives become increasingly incapable of maintaining them, as the complex feelings regulating smaller, simpler, and more intimate human interactions evolve into a cruder and colder psychology of scale among composite moral persons or groups.

That is, with the reduction of familiarity, predictability, and commonality of purpose comes a sort of primitivizing of motives in the direction of fear. An initial contract of association occurs when members of a multitude, or the would-be citizens in practice, family-fathers or patriarchs, who are the primary or direct citizens: DJN VII. This requires the accession of all full or formal members of the resultant group, who consent to it either absolutely or conditionally depending on whether they agree individually to bind themselves to any form of state selected by the majority, or only to a certain, preapproved form satisfactory to themselves. The second pact follows the selection via the pragmatic expedient of majority vote; see Pasquino , Schwartzberg of the specific form of state to be instituted monarchy, aristocracy, or democracy , and through it each citizen of the future state subjects himself to the specific governing agent thereby established.

It is needed to prevent the random defection and individual exceptionalism that threaten all pre-civil agreements DJN VII. At this stage or level, the individual contractors unite their wills through separate promises of obedience to a new moral persona equipped with distinctive i. Civil subjection is analogous to herilic subjection or slavery, though more focused in intent, more limited in scope, and β€” because of reciprocal promises between governors and governed β€” potentially sublatable in narrowly defined and thinks Pufendorf avoidable circumstances DJN VII.

Moreover, in combining a title to command with the strength to sanction or compel, it also recalls the general structure and rationale of the moral obligation that enjoins humans to constitute it in the first place cf. Horn Politicorum pars architectonica de civitate [] , the German Filmer. Natural law bestows sovereignty on no one form of government or on specific individuals or groups; instead, such decisions are made by human contractors in particular circumstances. It is always required, however, that sovereignty be supreme in the sense that there be no superior or equivalent powers within the state. Also, sovereignty cannot be divided, since that would fragment the unity of will that undergirds the state as an effective authority DJN VII.

Accordingly, all governing functions, including legislative, judicial, penal, economic, and war-related powers must ultimately reside in the same persona or agency. States where sovereignty is unified β€” whatever be their form monarchy, aristocracy, democracy β€” are called regular, and those where it is divided irregular DJN VII. Irregularity always weakens a state, but each form also has its own difficulties and weaknesses. Pufendorf does not in principle prefer one regular form over another: God is the author of free states democracies and monarchies alike DJN VII. In fact, the choice appears to be prudential in nature, since certain forms of state may require specific human dispositions to function effectively DJN VII.

Thus, large territories with scattered populations are better ruled as monarchies, while smaller regions or city-states can be governed well as democracies DJN VII. The former obtain, for instance, when in a monarchy rulership goes to someone unqualified for that role, and the latter when in a democracy citizens are too self-assertive and unwilling to compromise. The fact remains that even though states are a remedy for human weakness and imperfection, as human constructs they always remain an imperfect one DJN VII. This problem cannot be avoided or lessened by mixing forms of state, a traditional expedient Riklin , Scattola b, Zurbuchen that Pufendorf rejects because of the irregularities it produces.

Pufendorf does allow, though, for a distinction between forms of state and forms of administration. Thus, a monarch may utilize executive mechanisms that are aristocratic or democratic in nature, and similarly for other forms of state DJN VII. The crucial defining factor in each instance is the unity and locus of ultimate authority, not how its commands are executed or policies implemented. Such arrangements differ from so-called systems of sovereign states, which themselves exhibit regular and irregular forms depending on the way their collective authority is exercised. Given human imperfections, Pufendorf clearly favors limited sovereignty; however, and for the same reasons, while he criticizes the abuse of absolute sovereignty he also criticizes irrational fear thereof DJN VII.

Again, there is no universal recommendation but all depends on what is needed in particular historical circumstances where such choices present themselves. Therefore, sovereigns have the right and obligation to regulate religious organizations, to examine beliefs, and even to foster an official religion β€” though only to insure compatibility with political order DJN VII. In fact, like public schools if they do not merely perpetuate scholastic subtleties , religion may also aid the process of civic formation β€” which is required because states are adventitious moral entities devised by humans for a particular purpose, and because good citizens are not born but made DJN VII. In any case, since they issue from the same warranting deity, he held that ultimately true politics and true religious doctrine cannot conflict DJN VII.

That is, since its purpose is not to make humans perfect but secure, only those natural laws without which peace among citizens would be impossible should also become civil laws DJN VIII. Besides, and within this narrow focal area, it also grants legislators considerable discretion or flexibility of application. Indeed, through their common grounding in the sociality principle, natural, civil, and international law are in continuity and in dialogue with one another β€” though in a complex and sometimes untidy way DJN II. That is, though as a broad divine injunction natural law is presumed to be ultimately consistent, in practice as specifically interpreted by particular humans it often appears less so; for its demands must always be articulated in full view of not only human psychology but also the concrete settings in which human action occurs.

Thus, as in the case of immigration [section 3. Of course, both individuals and states have a right to defend themselves or wage defensive and, in limited circumstances, preemptive war, but neither of these is to be construed as punishment strictly speaking. The latter is, instead, a means of social control available only to sovereigns for the specific purpose of restraint, deterrence, and reform DJN VIII.

In their hands, moreover, it is more future- than past-oriented, with the latter being important only for the sake of the former: that is, one should not pointlessly impose evil on someone, even if guilty, if the deed cannot be undone or the damage repaired, for he remains after all our conspecific or fellow human being cognato DJN VIII. Those who have injured another certainly owe a duty of reparation, as well as assurances about future behavior, but they are under no obligation to submit to punishment DJN VIII.

This is as evident in the seminal reflections of his early Collegium Anthologicum lectures in KVS e, pp. Thus, the treatise on the Holy Roman Empire Monz. Most obviously, perhaps, his explicitly historical works β€” including the long accounts of Sweden Gust. To be sure, the focus here is mainly on the external relations and negotiations of particular states.

For he not only mastered the art of example but was also an aggressive, imaginative, and sometimes crass polemicist when attacked β€” especially when cornered, when the stakes were high, or when he deemed his opponents to be bellicose, lazy, or intellectually dishonest. This alone assured that he was eagerly and widely read. Many of his works β€” including Monz. Of particular note in this extensive publication history were the influential French translations by Jean Barbeyrac, whose long notes to DJN and DO including their Lockean leanings were partially assumed into the standard English translations of these works if not immediately then in later editions , specifically those by Basil Kennet DJN and Andrew Tooke DO In fact there was considerable interest in Pufendorf in England starting with Tyrrell and Locke β€” see Tyrrell , esp.

These and other translations are currently being reissued by Liberty Fund, Inc. See Other Internet Resources below. This edition includes as Vol. The discourse of natural law became the lingua franca of 18th-century moral, political, and social including economic β€” Hont , ; Skinner thought Haakonssen ; see section 2. So too were many other British moralists and social theorists, especially in the so-called Scottish Enlightenment, including George Turnbull β€” , John Millar β€” , Thomas Reid β€” , and Adam Smith β€” Haakonssen , Moore and Silverthorne , Moore Thomasius and his school, and through the frequent republication and study of his own works. Pufendorf himself maintained a presence not only through his natural law works but also the historical writings, especially the many versions of his Introduction Einl.

Indeed, it was largely through this work and those of its editors, commentators, and imitators, including Nikolaus Hieronymus Gundling β€” and Johann Peter Lud[e]wig β€” , that Pufendorf entered the 18th-century discourse about the relation of law, politics, and history, and stayed relevant as an international theorist. This included Gottfried Achenwall β€” , on whom Kant lectured for many years during both his pre-Critical and Critical periods Achenwall , Hruschka , Streidl In an equally broad sort of way, Pufendorf was also predecessor to Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui β€” and Emmerich de Vattel β€” , whose respective works on natural and international law were notable examples of the genre, albeit ones also influenced by its Wolffian version. Indeed, when Kant arrived on the scene the two had already been thoroughly commingled, and the discipline as a whole straddled an uncomfortable position between the rational and the empirical.

Its situation now became increasingly precarious, as it was subjected to epistemological and metaphysical challenges that it had not been designed to meet, and whose purist, a priori assumptions it would reject Hunter , , Like much else, Kant effectively folded natural law into the dialectical pre-history of his own system. In fact, he hardly mentions it at all, since it does not fit the formal schematic of his conception of the history of philosophy as a conflict between dogmatic rationalism and sceptical empiricism.

In ethics, natural law is implicitly dismissed in the critique of technical and prudential imperatives, and in political philosophy it appears similarly wanting in the face of pure Right. However, since his system gave that problematic a new in significance, it did not play an explicit role in his discussions. The actual refutation or, rather, historical erasure of natural law was the work of post-Kantian historians like C. Buhle β€” , and W. Even so, natural law remained a presence in the nineteenth century. The rebirth of Thomism in the Catholic world toward the end of the century, and the permutation of natural into human rights before and after the First World War, made the disjunction and the amnesia complete. For about half of the twentieth century in philosophy, law, and international relations , natural law referred to a revived Scholasticism or Neo-Thomism.

George β€” , later by the naturalism or neo-Aristotelianism of Amartya Sen β€” and Martha Nussbaum β€” , and most recently by a new kind of Protestant natural law with roots in sixteenth-century Reformed theology Grabhill , VanDrunen , Witte Jr. These perspectives are not necessarily opposed to the practical aims of the views they oppose and criticize, it may be useful to note also about Pufendorf , but merely insist upon fewer suppositions, less presumption, and more modest goals. Original editions appear only if mentioned in the text or bibliography, and if there have been no later versions. The latter are included based on their accessibility to contemporary readers and the existence of translations into European languages other than Latin.

Bodin, Jean contractarianism cosmopolitanism ethics: natural law tradition German Philosophy: in the 18th century, prior to Kant Grotius, Hugo Hobbes, Thomas Hobbes, Thomas: moral and political philosophy legal obligation and authority Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm: ethics Locke, John: political philosophy nature of law political philosophy: medieval Scottish Philosophy: in the 18th Century sovereignty voluntarism, theological Wolff, Christian.

The Method of Modern Natural Law 2. Moral Philosophy 3. Political Philosophy 4. Influence 5. Bibliography Unattributed translations in this entry are by the author. An Introduction to the History of the Principal Kingdoms and States of Europe Einleitung zu der Historie der vornehmsten Reiche und Staaten, so itziger Zeit in Europa sich befinden : , a, [, , b], b, EJU Elements of Universal Jurisprudence Elementa jurisprudentiae universalis : , , a, b, a sels. Schmidt-Biggemann ed. Gesammelte Werke , W. Schmidt-Biggemann [ed. Berlin, Gruyter. Lindberg ed. Stockholm, Kungl. Vitterhets historie och antikvitets akademien. Crull trans. Seidler ed. Haakonssen [ed. Here, the emphasis lies on the practical wisdom β€” as the capacity of ethical reasoning and decision-making β€” rather than on adhering to single ethical virtues, even though Aristotle claims that it is impossible to be practically wise without having ethical virtues and vice versa.

The intrinsic value of the virtues: following the standard interpretation of the role of the ethical virtues with regard to living a good life, Aristotle argues in the Nicomachean Ethics EN X, 6β€”9 that these virtues are somewhat less important when it comes to the overall goal, that is, happiness of living a good life. Epicurus β€” educated by the Platonist Pamphilus and highly influenced by the important teachings of Democritus β€” developed his philosophical school of the Epicureans in controversies with the Cyrenaics and the Stoics and meeting their objections and challenges. The lively exchange of arguments concerning the vital issue of how to live a good life put Epicurus in the position to successfully articulate a refined and sophisticated version of hedonism, which was regarded as superior to the rival philosophical school of the Cyrenaics.

He claims that sensation is the only standard of measuring good and evil. Epicurus shares the view with the Cyrenaics that all living beings strive for pleasure and try to avoid pain. But, unlike the Cyrenaic school, he argues that happiness consists of not only the very moment of bodily pleasure but lasts a whole life and also contains mental pleasure, which is β€” according to him β€” preferable to bodily pleasure. The ultimate goal in life is not to strive for positive pleasure but to seek for absence of pain. Unlike Aristippus, Epicurus claims in support of the importance of mental states that bodily pleasure and pain is limited to the here and now, while the soul is also concerned with the pleasurable and painful states of the past and prospective pleasure and pain.

Thus, sensations based on recollections, hope and fear in the context of mental states with regard to the past and future are much stronger than the bodily pleasure of the moment. Being virtuous is a precondition of tranquillity, that is, peace and freedom from fear, which is closely connected to happiness. Shortly after the rise of epicureanism, Zeno of Citium β€” the founder of stoicism β€” established a new school in Athens. The Stoics were influenced by teachings of the Cynics. Human beings, according to stoicism, are able to perceive the laws of nature through reason and to act accordingly.

The best life is a life according to nature Zeller For example, in the case of rational beings only what is in accord with reason is valuable; only virtue, which is necessary and sufficient for happiness, is a good. Following the Cynics, the Stoics argue that honour, property, health and life are not goods and that poverty, disgrace, illness, and death are not evils. Against the Cyrenaics and Epicureans, they hold the view that pleasure is not a good and certainly not the highest good; they agree with Aristotle that pleasure is the consequence of our actions β€” if they are of the right kind β€” but not the goal itself.

Two main doctrines are of utmost importance in the teachings of stoicism, first, the significance of ataraxia and, secondly, the idea of doing what nature demands. First, happiness is ataraxia β€” the freedom from passions β€” and a self-contained life style. Following Socrates and Plato, the Stoics believed that virtue is ethical knowledge and that non-virtuous people simply lack ethical knowledge, since virtue consists in the reasonable condition of the soul, which leads to correct views. The Cynic idea of the sharp distinction between the existence of a very few wise people and many fools, that is all non-wise people, had become less sharp in the process of time.

In addition, the Roman philosopher and politician Cicero β€”43 BC is the first author whose work on the notion of duty survives, De Officiis , in which he examined the notion in great detail in the first century BC 44 BC. It should be noted, however, that the stoic philosopher Panaitios of Rhodes β€” BC had already published an important book on the notion of duty prior to Cicero. Stoicism outlived the other philosophical schools with regard to its ethics by being an attractive position for many people and leading philosophers and politicians such as Seneca first century AD and Marcus Aurelius second century AD in Ancient Rome. Both theories have been adopted and modified by many scholars in recent history in order to make them more compatible with the latest demands in ethical reasoning and decision-making, in particular, by meeting the objections raised by modern virtue ethics.

The following briefly depicts Kantianism in its original form and the main features of utilitarianism. The German philosopher Immanuel Kant is the founder of deontological ethics. His ethics, which he mainly put forth in the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals , Critique of Practical Reason , and Metaphysics of Morals , is one of the most prominent and highly respected theories in modernity. The Categorical Imperative is a test for maxims which, in turn, determine whether certain acts have moral worth or not. If the maxim can be universalized, then it is valid and one must act upon it. A maxim cannot be universalized when it faces two severe instances: i.

Morality is not based in interests such as social contract theories , emotions and intuitions, or conscience, but in reason alone. The pure practical reason is not limited to the particular nature of human reasoning but is the source and the field of universal norms, which stem from a general notion of a rational being as such see, Eisler ; Paton ; Timmermann ; Altman Historically speaking, Jeremy Bentham in his Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation and John Stuart Mill in Utilitarianism are the founders of utilitarianism, while Francis Hutcheson and William Paley could be seen as their legitimate predecessors by pointing out that utility should be seen as an important standard of evaluation in ethical reasoning and decision-making.

Bentham claims that the duration and intensity of pleasure and pain are of utmost importance and that it is even possible β€” according to Bentham β€” to measure the right action by applying a hedonistic calculus which determines the exact utility of the actions. The action with the best hedonistic outcome should be put into practice. His position is called radical quantitative hedonism.

Mill instead questions the very idea of a hedonistic calculus and argues that one must distinguish between mental and bodily pleasure by giving more weight to mental pleasures. His position is called qualitative hedonism. The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain and the privation of pleasure. There is widespread agreement that there exist numerous different utilitarian theories in modern ethics; hence it would be impossible to provide an adequate depiction of all important major strands in this brief subsection.

However, the following four main aspects are typical for each utilitarian theory. The consequence principle: Utilitarianism is not about actions but about the consequences of actions. This kind of theory is a form of consequentialism, which means that the moral worth of the particular action is determined by its outcome. Happiness: Utilitarianism is a teleological theory insofar as happiness but, not in the ancient sense of the term is the main goal that should be achieved. This particular goal can be identified with i. Utilitarianism is a theory with one principle that judges the consequences of a given action regarding its utility, which is the general aim of actions.

Maximising: The collective amount of utility regarding sentient beings affected by the action should be maximized. Furthermore, one major methodological distinction should be mentioned briefly since it really divides all utilitarian theories in two different groups by either applying the principle of utility to actions or rules. In act utilitarianism or direct utilitarianism the principle of utility is applied to the particular action; in this case, one asks whether the action in question is morally right or wrong in this particular situation. In rule utilitarianism or indirect utilitarianism , instead, the principle of utility is applied to rules only which, in turn, are applied to the particular actions and serve as guidelines for human behaviour in order to guarantee the greatest happiness for the greatest number.

Here, the vital question is whether a specific rule maximises the general utility or not. From time to time, it happens that the general utility will be maximised by rule utilitarianism to a lesser degree than it would have been the case regarding act utilitarianism. However, in some cases it would be better to adhere to act utilitarianism since it maximises the general utility to a higher degree depending on the particular situation and circumstances of the case in question act utilitarianism.

The depiction of the ethical views of some important philosophical schools as well as their interrelatedness in Antiquity and the outline of the two leading moral theories in modern morality show that there is β€” despite the systematic difference concerning the importance of the question of the good life β€” a significant overlap of important lines of reasoning. In addition, the supposed distinction between ancient ethics and modern morality contains many misleading claims. Socrates can be seen as the initial ignition of a broad variety of diverse virtue ethical approaches such as cynicism, the teachings of the Cyrenaics, Aristotelianism, epicureanism, and stoicism.

All philosophical schools were concerned with the vital questions of how to live a good life and how to achieve happiness by pointing out what the appropriate actions were. The brief outline of the different philosophical schools in Antiquity supports this view. Modern morality is different in that its focus is on the basic question of how one should act. The ancient question of how should one live is secondary. However, modern morality in particular Kantianism and utilitarianism did not start from scratch but already had some important and highly influential ancient predecessors.

For example, the Kantian idea of doing the right thing because reason dictates it has its roots in stoicism see, Cooper , Schneewind and the utilitarian idea of living a happy life according to pleasure has its roots in the teachings of the Cyrenaics for example Bentham and Epicureans for example Mill The history of ideas conveyed important ethical insights handed down from Antiquity to modernity. The idea that there is a clear and easy distinction between ancient virtue ethics and modern moral theories is premature and misleading. Indeed, there are some important differences but one must acknowledge the simple fact that there is no unity or broad consensus among ancient virtue ethicists concerning the question of how to live a good life and which actions should count as virtuous.

These scholars argue that virtue ethics was quite successful in solving ethical problems in Antiquity and they believe that adhering to a refined version of virtue ethics is not only useful but also superior in solving our modern moral problems. Among the most important neo-Aristotelian scholars are Anscombe , Foot , , Hursthouse , MacIntyre , Nussbaum , , , Slote , Swanton , and Williams who claim that the traditional ethical theories such as deontological ethics Kantianism and consequentialism utilitarianism are doomed to failure.

In general they adhere, at least, to two main hypotheses: i. People in Antiquity already employed a very efficient way of ethical reasoning and decision-making; and, ii. Hence it follows that one should overcome the deficient modern ethical theories and again adhere to virtue ethics as a viable alternative without, of course, abandoning the existing ethical developments see Bayertz The following section depicts the old but still persisting stereotypical differences between ancient ethics and modern morality in order to further deepen our understanding about the supposed and real differences and similarities of both ethical approaches.

This self-explanatory table presents a simple but instructive comparison of the defining features of the stereotypes of ancient ethics and modern morality for a similar table see Bayertz Many stereotypes certainly depict some truth, but there is almost always a lot of room for a better understanding of the differences and similarities of the particular issue. To be more precise with regard to this issue, it is true that ancient ethics concerns the vital question of how to live a good life and to become a virtuous person by acting in accordance with the ethical virtues. However, the idea that virtue ethics does not deal with actions and hence is unable to provide concrete answers to ethical problems is premature; it is not only modern moral theories that deal with actions see, Hursthouse , chapters ; Slote , chapter 1; Swanton , chapter An ethical virtue, according to Aristotle, needs to be completely internalized by its agent through many actions of the same type so that the person is able to accomplish a firm disposition.

In other words, a brave person who has the virtue of courage has to perform many brave actions in the area of fear and confidence in order to accomplish a brave disposition. Performing the appropriate actions is the only way one can do this. Indeed, modern moral theories are rather focused on the question of what should one do in a particular situation, and usually ethicists do not pay much attention to the question of living a good life. Ancient ethicists, instead, believe that one cannot separate both issues. Broadly speaking, ancient ethics is egoistical and modern morality is altruistic. The latter requires the usage of ethical virtues, which are by nature other-regarding; the former does not require the usage of ethical virtues see, Aristotle EN X, 6β€”9 , even though, according to Aristotle, one cannot be a practically wise person without being virtuous, and vice versa.

Both concepts are mutually dependent EN VI. One might claim that self-interest and the interests of other people do not stand in contrast to each other in ancient ethics but converge by adhering to an objective idea of the good see, Bayertz The line between moral questions that concern the interests of other people and ethical questions that concern the well-being of the particular agent is disfigured beyond recognition. In modern morality, however, there is a clear difference because the question of the good life is secondary, and is systematically not important for the question of how one should act in a particular situation.

Modern moral theories are rather subjective in character and hence lack the strong commitments of virtue ethical theories concerning their objective basis, as well as their claims regarding elitism and the devaluation of the moral common sense. The upshot is, however, that there is a systematic difference between ancient ethics and modern morality concerning the way in which moral problems are solved, but the idea that ancient ethics is egoistic and does not appeal to actions is premature and simply wrong. Anscombe points out in her classical paper Modern Moral Philosophy that modern morality is doomed to failure because it only focuses on the analysis of language and notions and, in particular, it adheres to the fallacious idea of the moral duty.

Here, the ideas of a moral duty and a moral ought were appropriate. In secular ethics, however, there is no general consent to the idea of a moral duty that is universally binding on all rational people. The idea of a moral duty, according to Anscombe, should be replaced by the notion of virtue. But this means that the moral duty is hypothetical rather than categorical. It is commonly said that in ancient ethics there is no moral duty and no moral ought simply because the Greek and Romans lack those particular notions.

However, from the bare fact that they lack the notions of moral duty and moral ought, one cannot conclude that they also lack the particular phenomena as well Bayertz In addition, one might claim that his point still misses the general idea of using similar notions as main ethical key terms, which reflects a certain particular way of ethical reasoning and decision-making. According to ancient ethics, a completely virtuous person, who is the bearer of all ethical virtues, is unable to act in a non-virtuous way.

If a person bears one virtue, he thereby bears all other virtues as well that is the thesis of the unity of the virtues. The practically wise person β€” according to Ancient ethicists β€” will always act in accordance with the ethical virtues. In other words, the virtuous person is always master of her emotions and, in general, will never be swamped by her emotions, which otherwise might have led her to act in a non-virtuous way. Generally speaking, this is a quite demanding line of argumentation since it can be the case, at least according to our modern way of thinking, that a brave person who has the virtue of courage might not be able to show the virtue of liberality.

However, even if one acknowledges that person A is a virtuous person, one might not be convinced that this person will never be able to act in a non-virtuous way. In modern morality, utilitarianism, for example, convincingly distinguishes between the evaluation of the character of a person and his or her actions. It can easily be the case, according to utilitarianism, that a morally bad person performs a morally right action or that a morally good person performs a morally wrong action. This distinction is impossible to draw for proponents of classic virtue ethics because an ethically right action always presupposes that the person has an ethically good character.

In other words, there is no such thing as acting from a sense of duty in virtue ethics. The following sketches out the main line of reasoning see, also Engstrom and Whiting ; Jost and Wuerth Her view is supported by some important works of Hudson , Audi , and Baron This fact, however, has also been acknowledged by neo-Kantian philosophers such as Korsgaard and Herman In this respect it reflects a lack of awareness about current developments in virtue ethics and neo-Kantianism if one still up-holds the claim of the clear distinction between ancient ethics and modern morality, in particular, concerning Aristotle and Kant that has been proposed for hundreds of years. Gryz is convinced that even if both groups of terms converge as close as possible , there will still either remain an unbridgeable gap or in case that one attempts to define one group of terms by the other group, it follows that something is left behind which cannot be explained by the second group.

This contemporary debate shows that there is still no common view on the relationship between ancient ethics and modern morality. Kant claims in the Groundwork that the morally motivated agent acts from good will. In more detail, to act from duty or to act because one thinks that it is morally right is to perform an action because one thinks that its maxim has the form of a law Korsgaard For example, if a person is in need the Kantian agent does the right action not because β€” as Korsgaard claims β€” that it is her purpose to simply do her duty, but because the person chooses the action for its own sake that means her purpose is to help Korsgaard Even if the Ancient Greeks lacked the particular notions that can be translated as moral ought, duty, right, and principle for example Gryz , Hursthouse , it seems nonetheless correct to claim that the idea of doing the right thing because it is right or because one is required to do it is also a well-known phenomenon in classic virtue ethics in general and with regard to Aristotle and stoicism in particular.

There are quite a few passages in the Nicomachean Ethics in which Aristotle clearly claims that morally good actions are done for their own sake or because it is the morally right thing to do:.

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