ancient ethics
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2021 ◽  
Vol 38 (3) ◽  
pp. 557-572
Katja Maria Vogt

Abstract The Stoics identify the law with the active principle, which is corporeal, pervades the universe, individuates each part of the world, and causes all its movements. At the same time, the law is normative for all reasoners. The very same law shapes the movements of the cosmos and governs our actions. With this reconstruction of Stoic law, I depart from existing scholarship on whether Stoic law is a set of rules. The question of whether ethics involves a set of rules is rich and fascinating. In the 1970s and 80s, the observation that ancient ethics might do without rules was part of philosophy’s rediscovery of virtue ethics. This debate, however, neglects that Stoic law is a corporeal principle pervading the world. The key puzzle regarding Stoic law, I argue, is how it is possible that the very same law is a corporeal principle in the world and normative for us.

Neha Saini ◽  
Neha Saini

One of the objectives of Yoga is to achieve and maintain purity of Citta. The entire practices of Yoga are intended to achieve purity of Citta by any means and ways, and in all conditions. It keeps working on its objective so that human beings would be able to achieve the state of supreme bliss or the state of ?nanda. To attain the level of anta? ?uddhi, covering various aspects of Citta, one has to adhere zealously to yama and niyama with Ha?h Yoga or ????nga Yoga then they would be able to reach the avacetana mana and after that they try to attain the level of Citta ?uddhi. Fortunately women are granted a great opportunity or a golden chance by nature in the form of menstrual phase which is known as Raja?sr?va k?la whereby she has to do nothing from the practices of Ha?h Yoga or R?ja Yoga and she can just sit by herself and may try to choose any way to open up her inner self and reach the avacetana mana very quickly by practicing the dh?ra?a, dhy?na, mantra chanting and various relaxation techniques. She may thus work to purify her Citta at a greater speed and able to attain peace and bliss sooner, because there are certain ancient ethics related to the menstrual phase, like; isolation, keeping away from cooking, avoids mingling with other people, etc. These can actually be conducive to thinking and taking action for awakening the inner self, the true and ultimate purpose of life. This research work is an attempt to throw light on some hidden phenomenon behind the ancient ethics related to menstrual phase, with guidelines and suggestions for women intended towards realising their real potential and leading them towards ultimate aim of life. Keywords: Citta, Ancient Menstrual Ethics, Citta?uddh.

2020 ◽  
Vol 35 (2) ◽  
pp. 339-358
Dominika Dziurosz-Serafinowicz

In this paper, I present some directives concerning the ethical use of speech and conversation. I focus on three areas – linguistics, philosophy and religion – and moral rules elaborated there with regard to what should and what should not be revealed by words. From the point of view of linguistics, I analyse modern principles of politeness and maxims of conversation. From the point of view of philosophical reflection, I consider ancient ethics of speech, and in particular: the three sieves of Socrates, rhetoric (lat. ars bene dicendi), and the Aristotelian golden mean. From the point of view of religion, I show the moral rules for words in Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Confucianism, and the Toltec faith.

Gopal Sreenivasan

This chapter contains the argument against the unity of the virtues, which presupposes that the virtues are not unified and vindicates anti-imperialism about virtue. It describes the unity of the virtues that was more or less universally affirmed in ancient ethics and notes that the dominant tendency in contemporary moral philosophy is to reject it. It also sketches a position on the interrelation of the virtues that avoids the falsity of the unity thesis, while still salvaging some of its more attractive aspects. The chapter focuses on the thesis that one cannot have one virtue without having all of the others. It elaborates that if there is any one virtue that a person lacks, then it follows that this person does not have any of the other virtues.

Dorota M. Dutsch

The Epilogue turns briefly to Byzantine reception of Pythagorean women in five short witty letters composed in the persona of Theano. Theophylact Simocatta’s Theano to Eurydice is compared to four anonymous notes “by Theano”: (yet another) To Eurydice, To Timonides, To Eucleides, and To Rhodope, preserved in a one manuscript only, along with explicitly Christian texts. All five notes present Theano as an exemplar of ancient ethics and debate whether or not ancient morals are compatible with Christian values. While Theophylact’s To Eurydice and the anonymous To Timonides endow Theano with virtues that mirror Christian ideals, others present her as a foil to the model of a Christian woman and offer a satirical response to the earlier paraenetic letters. These notes, which evoke the pagan woman philosopher playfully, at times maliciously, draw attention both to some ethical shortcomings of the paraenetic letters and to common pitfalls of Pythagorean interpretation.

2020 ◽  
pp. 43-110
Will D. Desmond

Hegel’s exposition of the ‘rational’ state in The Philosophy of Right draws on ancient ethics, politics, and history, and cannot be fully understood without reference to his Lectures on the Philosophy of History. This chapter seeks to explore the many ‘moments of antiquity’ in the Philosophy of Right, when ancient practices or ideas infiltrate Hegel’s more abstract analysis of ethico-political phenomena. It does so by following the tripartite division of the Philosophy of Right: for example, the analysis of property in ‘Abstract Right’ is incomplete without appreciating Hegel’s response to ancient forms of slavery and the Roman ‘law of things’; the second section on ‘Morality’ is primarily Kantian, yet is also implicitly in dialogue with Socratic thinkers for its evaluation of virtue, the Good, and conscience; finally, Hegel’s innovative concept of ‘Ethical Life’ is significantly indebted to his understanding of the Greek and Roman families, ancient constitutional arrangements, and Justinian’s Code. Turning from these and other ‘moments of antiquity’, the chapter then offers a more continuous presentation and evaluation of Hegel’s understanding of Greek and Roman histories, explaining how his concept of the ‘beautiful’ Greek polis and ‘lawful’ Roman empire were for him the two historically necessary stages in the development of the modern ‘rational state’.

2020 ◽  
pp. 76-82
Terence Irwin

Christian literature, from the New Testament onwards, pursues the main themes of ancient ethics, from the theological perspective derived from the Old Testament. Both Jewish and Christian writers defend their moral views by appeal to the natural law and natural reason that the Stoics acknowledge. The Christian Gospel does not reveal the moral law, but (1) makes us aware of how demanding it is, (2) shows us that we cannot fulfil its demands by our own unaided efforts, and (3) reveals that we can keep it through divine help that turns our free will in the right direction. These three claims underlie the Pauline and Augustinian doctrines of divine grace and human free will. Christian ethics looks forward to the ‘City of God’, which cannot be realized in human history. But it also engages with human societies in order to carry out the demands of the moral law.

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