Fragmented Anthropology: Contemporary Ethics, I

A student of contemporary ethics may be astonished by the variety of theories available: Egoism, Emotivism, Utilitarianism, Deontology, Subjectivism, etc. How is one to make sense of their contrary claims? Is the right action: Seeking my own good (Egoism)? the greatest good for the greatest number (Utility)? Obeying rules (Deontology)? Determined by culture, communities, or … Continue reading Fragmented Anthropology: Contemporary Ethics, I

Virtue and its Limits: from Prudence to Contemplation

A talk Given at New College Franklin, Prospective Weekend, Spring 2018 Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, the great Western text on virtue, concludes in a very strange way. After all his work discussing virtue, Aristotle unexpectedly relegates it to second rank. But if I am to make clear the remarkable nature of this move, I first need … Continue reading Virtue and its Limits: from Prudence to Contemplation

Order in the General: On Aristotle’s Vision of the Unmoved Mover and Cosmic Order

Why is there motion? The stars move, birds move, people move, air moves, even rocks move (when dropped). Why? In the Physics, Aristotle inquires into natural or movable bodies. The source of their motion is explored. But this mode of inquiry leaves him on the threshold of metaphysics and theology. To look into the causes of motion leads … Continue reading Order in the General: On Aristotle’s Vision of the Unmoved Mover and Cosmic Order