Morality - Why bother?

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Morality - Why bother?

Unless we assume that there is a God that either punishes or rewards us for our cruelty/good behavior, why should we act in any "moral" way at all?

A common reply will be "what if everyone acted that way? Then it would be worse for everyone!", but while this may be true, it doesn't prevent ME from being an total asshat, simply because me acting in one way doesn't automatically turn everyone else into asshats (it may encourage it, but why do I care?).

the answer lies in you own words.

as you said you will be encouraging others to act like you and that will, whether you care or not, be bad.

also most people are not to hesitant about beating up people acting like jerks.

Because you're completely dependent upon other human beings. If you act 'immoral', you'll be punished. If you act moral, people will be way more willing to help you.

Because you have evolved to be a social creature, and brought up in a society.

Because if you're enough of an asshat to someone, they might kidnap you and keep you in their basement for when they feel like playing with a blowtorch after a rough day in the office.

The best way to keep people from being an asshat to you, is to not be an asshat to them.

These kind of threads give me the skeevy feeling that there are people out there only not murdering because it would get on god's nerves.
There are many reasons to be moral- because it's good for us as a society. If we have a society where murder is condoned or encouraged, it's not going to last very long, is it?

Also, ideas of fairness and morality are not limited to us, and I've not seen any monkeys praying.

Realitycrash:
Why should I not be a dick?

If you need to ask, then you probably already are.

DJjaffacake:

Realitycrash:
Why should I not be a dick?

If you need to ask, then you probably already are.

Does it matter? I did not ask whether or not I am a dick, I asked why one should care.

Phasmal:
These kind of threads give me the skeevy feeling that there are people out there only not murdering because it would get on god's nerves.
There are many reasons to be moral- because it's good for us as a society. If we have a society where murder is condoned or encouraged, it's not going to last very long, is it?

Also, ideas of fairness and morality are not limited to us, and I've not seen any monkeys praying.

Yes, it's good for "society", but being an asshat can be good for ME, while the rest of you "fools" go around and care about society, so why should /I/ bother?
I already said that the "what if everyone acted that way"-argument was futile.

Realitycrash:

DJjaffacake:

Realitycrash:
Why should I not be a dick?

If you need to ask, then you probably already are.

Does it matter? I did not ask whether or not I am a dick, I asked why one should care.

Alright, put it this way. If you don't care, then you don't care. If you have to ask why you should care, then you will not care.

Danyal:
Because you're completely dependent upon other human beings. If you act 'immoral', you'll be punished. If you act moral, people will be way more willing to help you.

That's a question of pragmatics, not ethics. You're saying "if you act immoral, you will get caught and punished". That does not follow, and there are plenty of cases where people have done immoral things and never gotten punished (and we only know because they later confessed due to guilt).
Yes, you are LIKELY to be caught, but that doesn't say "do not be a theif". It says "be a good theif".

DJjaffacake:

Realitycrash:

DJjaffacake:

If you need to ask, then you probably already are.

Does it matter? I did not ask whether or not I am a dick, I asked why one should care.

Alright, put it this way. If you don't care, then you don't care. If you have to ask why you should care, then you will not care.

So your answer is "nothing compels you to behave ehtically, and there is no reason for it"?

thaluikhain:
Because you have evolved to be a social creature, and brought up in a society.

Doesn't prevent me from being an asshat? I have evolved fists, does that mean I should use them to punch people? "Evolution says so" does not equal "thus you should".

Jedoro:
Because if you're enough of an asshat to someone, they might kidnap you and keep you in their basement for when they feel like playing with a blowtorch after a rough day in the office.

The best way to keep people from being an asshat to you, is to not be an asshat to them.

That's a question of pragmatics, not ethics. You're saying "if you act immoral, you will get caught and punished". That does not follow, and there are plenty of cases where people have done immoral things and never gotten punished (and we only know because they later confessed due to guilt).
Yes, you are LIKELY to be caught, but that doesn't say "do not be a theif". It says "be a good theif

Realitycrash:

DJjaffacake:

Realitycrash:

Does it matter? I did not ask whether or not I am a dick, I asked why one should care.

Alright, put it this way. If you don't care, then you don't care. If you have to ask why you should care, then you will not care.

So your answer is "nothing compels you to behave ehtically, and there is no reason for it"?

My answer is: If you don't already feel compelled to behave ethically by your personal feelings, then there is nothing other than the law to make you do so.

Realitycrash:

Yes, it's good for "society", but being an asshat can be good for ME, while the rest of you "fools" go around and care about society, so why should /I/ bother?
I already said that the "what if everyone acted that way"-argument was futile.

Have you only just realised you can be an asshat?
Yeah, you could be an asshat. You could go out and punch people, but then you would be arrested. And that wouldn't be good for you.
You could go out and be a dick if you like. It will probably have personal consequences (losing friends, etc).

There's nothing to stop you, but that doesn't mean you don't know the difference between wrong and right.

DJjaffacake:

Realitycrash:
Why should I not be a dick?

If you need to ask, then you probably already are.

Well put.

Another reason not to be a dick is because at least in my experience, unless you have the money, power, and privilege of the 1%, being a dick doesn't really get you anything that being kind can't. The world is chock full of petty tyrants in dead-end jobs, former high school bullies who peaked at graduation and who realize the entire rest of their life is downhill from there, and sexual opportunists who may get a little extra on the side, but who can't keep a stable relationship to save their lives and who realize at some point in mid-life that they are miserable, alone (regardless of if they're single or if they "settled" at some point for a long-term relationship) and aged to the point that they no longer have the pull they once had but don't know how to interact with their desired sex any other way. Being a dick doesn't predict you will be any happier than anyone else unless you actually have power. And while some dicks with power go far, history has many examples of dicks with power who crash and meet unhappy ends.

Morality is no guarantee of happiness either. But I tend to find that truly moral people- i.e. people who act morally because they genuinely want to see good brought out for others as opposed to people who act morally because they want a (meta)physical cookie as reward for their morality, often build up a mental endurance that the less moral lack. Because they learn how to delay gratification, and they learn how to accept that not all actions get rewarded, and they learn how to find enjoyment in what they do rather than what they get out of it. At the end of the day this endurance can take them just as far, maybe even further, than a dick can go.

And besides, who would you rather be remembered as: Karl Rove? Or Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Realitycrash:
That's a question of pragmatics, not ethics.

Well, doing things that are generally considered to be immoral often harm other living beings, and harming other living beings is probably unethical. Most people instinctively care about that.

Realitycrash:
You're saying "if you act immoral, you will get caught and punished". That does not follow, and there are plenty of cases where people have done immoral things and never gotten punished (and we only know because they later confessed due to guilt).

You asked 'why should we act in any moral way at all'. Well, we shouldn't. As you said, there is no God that punishes us. Although I 'believe' in the Singularity and that eventually all your crimes will be known to everyone, we probably won't make you burn in hell or something like that.

Realitycrash:
Yes, you are LIKELY to be caught, but that doesn't say "do not be a theif". It says "be a good theif".

If you do not instinctively care about the harm you do to others, and you don't mind risking punishment, well, there is no logical reason for you, as an individual, to behave in any moral way.

Phasmal:

Realitycrash:

Yes, it's good for "society", but being an asshat can be good for ME, while the rest of you "fools" go around and care about society, so why should /I/ bother?
I already said that the "what if everyone acted that way"-argument was futile.

Have you only just realised you can be an asshat?
Yeah, you could be an asshat. You could go out and punch people, but then you would be arrested. And that wouldn't be good for you.
You could go out and be a dick if you like. It will probably have personal consequences (losing friends, etc).

There's nothing to stop you, but that doesn't mean you don't know the difference between wrong and right.

Being an asshat doesn't mean being a stupid asshat, it means acting only for the benefit of yourself. Getting arrested is not in my interest. Sniping people in the head from a rooftop, if I am 100% certain I will never be caught, might be, however.

The question isn't if I know "right from wrong" (let's assume that there are such things), but why I shouldn't ignore both cases and do as I please. Why should I not shape my own morality?

Danyal:

Realitycrash:
That's a question of pragmatics, not ethics.

Well, doing things that are generally considered to be immoral often harm other living beings, and harming other living beings is probably unethical. Most people instinctively care about that.

Realitycrash:
You're saying "if you act immoral, you will get caught and punished". That does not follow, and there are plenty of cases where people have done immoral things and never gotten punished (and we only know because they later confessed due to guilt).

You asked 'why should we act in any moral way at all'. Well, we shouldn't. As you said, there is no God that punishes us. Although I 'believe' in the Singularity and that eventually all your crimes will be known to everyone, we probably won't make you burn in hell or something like that.

Realitycrash:
Yes, you are LIKELY to be caught, but that doesn't say "do not be a theif". It says "be a good theif".

If you do not instinctively care about the harm you do to others, and you don't mind risking punishment, well, there is no logical reason for you, as an individual, to behave in any moral way.

(Please do not divide answers in such a fashion. It makes them harder for a hung-over person like me to read and comment on. Thank you)

So in conclusion, we have no real reason, except for fear and brainwashing? (by "brainwashing" I mean being instilled something from birth)

Katatori-kun:

DJjaffacake:

Realitycrash:
Why should I not be a dick?

If you need to ask, then you probably already are.

Well put.

Another reason not to be a dick is because at least in my experience, unless you have the money, power, and privilege of the 1%, being a dick doesn't really get you anything that being kind can't. The world is chock full of petty tyrants in dead-end jobs, former high school bullies who peaked at graduation and who realize the entire rest of their life is downhill from there, and sexual opportunists who may get a little extra on the side, but who can't keep a stable relationship to save their lives and who realize at some point in mid-life that they are miserable, alone (regardless of if they're single or if they "settled" at some point for a long-term relationship) and aged to the point that they no longer have the pull they once had but don't know how to interact with their desired sex any other way. Being a dick doesn't predict you will be any happier than anyone else unless you actually have power. And while some dicks with power go far, history has many examples of dicks with power who crash and meet unhappy ends.

Morality is no guarantee of happiness either. But I tend to find that truly moral people- i.e. people who act morally because they genuinely want to see good brought out for others as opposed to people who act morally because they want a (meta)physical cookie as reward for their morality, often build up a mental endurance that the less moral lack. Because they learn how to delay gratification, and they learn how to accept that not all actions get rewarded, and they learn how to find enjoyment in what they do rather than what they get out of it. At the end of the day this endurance can take them just as far, maybe even further, than a dick can go.

And besides, who would you rather be remembered as: Karl Rove? Or Martin Luther King, Jr.?

None of that is a question of "why should I be moral?" but more of "Why I should be really careful when I am immoral so that I don't get caught or suffer bad side-effects", though.

Realitycrash:

None of that is a question of "why should I be moral?" but more of "Why I should be really careful when I am immoral so that I don't get caught or suffer bad side-effects", though.

Well, if you think being careful to hide your true intentions for your entire life so no one sees through the facade you've created is a pathway to happiness, I suppose I can't argue with that.

Katatori-kun:

Realitycrash:

None of that is a question of "why should I be moral?" but more of "Why I should be really careful when I am immoral so that I don't get caught or suffer bad side-effects", though.

Well, if you think being careful to hide your true intentions for your entire life so no one sees through the facade you've created is a pathway to happiness, I suppose I can't argue with that.

One does not have to go to such extremes. One can behave "morally" when convenient, and "immoral" when one sees it fit, and suffer no real dire consequences.

Realitycrash:

Katatori-kun:

Realitycrash:

None of that is a question of "why should I be moral?" but more of "Why I should be really careful when I am immoral so that I don't get caught or suffer bad side-effects", though.

Well, if you think being careful to hide your true intentions for your entire life so no one sees through the facade you've created is a pathway to happiness, I suppose I can't argue with that.

One does not have to go to such extremes. One can behave "morally" when convenient, and "immoral" when one sees it fit, and suffer no real dire consequences.

Not in my experience. And I believe I'm a bit older than a lot of people here, so I'm not just blowing smoke. I've seen a lot of people try to play that game. For a while they get by with it, but eventually they tend to get exposed. In our society trust is important, and the knowledge that you can't be trusted getting out can really hamper your career options. And your social options. And well, life.

Realitycrash:
So in conclusion, we have no real reason, except for fear and brainwashing? (by "brainwashing" I mean being instilled something from birth)

'Real reason'?

1. If you behave immoral, you've got a high risk of being punished
2. You want to behave moral, it's part of your brain. Not 'brainwashing', it's you.

Helpings others, communicating with others, that's what makes you happy. Torturing kittens doesn't make you happy.

"You want do it and if you don't do it you'll probably be punished" seem to be rather good reasons.

But indeed, there is no real 'wrong'. It's not like there is a 'wrong outcome' or something, like 1+1=3. Behaving immoral harms others, doesn't make you happy in general, and you risk being punished. If that's not real enough for you...

Well, if you're going to benefit from working with others in a society - and not be killed by them, as society is for practical purposes always stronger than any individual - then you need to be seen as trustworthy and not utterly repugnant by them. Which mean that having - or at least appearing to have - some sort of ethical stability is necessary.

You can of course choose to simply appear moral, while covertly engaging in all sorts of immoral behaviour. There'll always be a risk involved in doing so though, that if others find out then they'll sanction you, by excluding you from benefits gathered through socialization, or outright punishment by the law. It'd take both skill, resourcefulness, and luck to keep such deception going forever, and there's also the risk that some of those one have wronged will retaliate in kind.

Basically, acting outside the moral and legal framework of society generally attract more risk/trouble than it's worth. You rob a bank or rape a kid, then chances are it'll end very poorly for you when society strikes back.

It sort of depends on what your morals are. My general outlook on life is not to screw over people when it's unnecessary, as they'll hold a grudge, and to help with small tasks when asked. If someone doesn't play by the same rules, then I will quite happily screw them over and be actively unhelpful to them, as they're probably free-loading or are just an asshat.

I can't see how society would function without some sort of morality like this. But all the other morality, like trying to make abortions/euthanasia/drugs illegal, is just forcing your worldview on others for no good reason.

Danyal:

Realitycrash:
So in conclusion, we have no real reason, except for fear and brainwashing? (by "brainwashing" I mean being instilled something from birth)

'Real reason'?

1. If you behave immoral, you've got a high risk of being punished
2. You want to behave moral, it's part of your brain. Not 'brainwashing', it's you.

Helpings others, communicating with others, that's what makes you happy. Torturing kittens doesn't make you happy.

"You want do it and if you don't do it you'll probably be punished" seem to be rather good reasons.

But indeed, there is no real 'wrong'. It's not like there is a 'wrong outcome' or something, like 1+1=3. Behaving immoral harms others, doesn't make you happy in general, and you risk being punished. If that's not real enough for you...

There is no proof that we, humans, are "moral from birth", there's just some genes that indicate it. And even if such is the case, it is irrelevant, because some people DO become happy by torturing kittens.

Realitycrash:
Morality - Why bother?

Unless we assume that there is a God that either punishes or rewards us for our cruelty/good behavior, why should we act in any "moral" way at all?

A common reply will be "what if everyone acted that way? Then it would be worse for everyone!", but while this may be true, it doesn't prevent ME from being an total asshat, simply because me acting in one way doesn't automatically turn everyone else into asshats (it may encourage it, but why do I care?).

Realitycrash, this is a great question, and I think it's one that anyone committed to secular values needs to be able to answer seriously.

No one applying any system of modern ethics will be able to give you a satisfying answer. That is because not one of those ethical systems has been able to find a coherent basis outside of God. That is what led Nietzsche to conclude that since "God is dead", society will completely reject is old value system (which was, after all, just Christian values with their foundations removed).

The answer you seek will come from classical ethics. The difference between modern and classical ethics is that modern ethics says that ethics is: "How ought I treat other people" while classical ethics says "How do I flourish as a human being". Classical ethics is inherently egoistic. So you should act in a moral way in order to flourish (e.g. live a good life).

Now, modern ethicists will say that this isn't "really ethics" and it's "just pragmatism". I respond to that by saying (1) the classical ethicists (Plato, Aristotle, etc) invented the term ethics; (2) their system worked fine for thousands of years; and (3) pragmatism rightfully does belong as part of ethics, and indeed was a great virtue to the classicists.

I would recommend you read Aristotle, in particular his description of the Great-Souled Man. Aristotle thought that being an asshat was an important part of the good life.

PS If your answer is "why should I care if I flourish," the answer is a shrug, because its your life to care about, not mine. All I can do is tell you that surgeons with shaky hands are bad surgeons, and lives that don't flourish are bad lives.

Realitycrash:
There is no proof that we, humans, are "moral from birth", there's just some genes that indicate it. And even if such is the case, it is irrelevant, because some people DO become happy by torturing kittens.

Have you watched the video?

Monkeys have got a strong sense of 'fairness' and 'compassion', the most important parts of morality.

De Waal's experiments:

[W]e did a study in which capuchin monkeys received either a grape or a piece of cucumber for a simple task.

If both monkeys got the same reward, there never was a problem. Grapes are by far preferred (as real primates, like us, they go for sugar content), but even if both received cucumber, they'd perform the task many times in a row.

However, if they received different rewards, the one who got the short end of the stick would begin to waver in its responses, and very soon start a rebellion by either refusing to perform the task or refusing to eat the cucumber.

This is an "irrational" response in the sense that if profit-maximizing is what life (and economics) is about, one should always take what one can get. Monkeys will always accept and eat a piece of cucumber whenever we give it to them, but apparently not when their partner is getting a better deal. In humans, this reaction is known as "inequity aversion."

This complex feeling of 'fairness' is the base of all morality. Do you do a lot of illegal things? Have you done a lot of illegal things without even knowing? Probably not. Have you studied all the laws of the country you live in? Probably not. You just know that hitting people is illegal, that raping is illegal, that trespassing is illegal, that breaking or stealing other people's stuff is illegal, etcetera.

That's because morality is ingrained in your brain.

Realitycrash:

Jedoro:
Because if you're enough of an asshat to someone, they might kidnap you and keep you in their basement for when they feel like playing with a blowtorch after a rough day in the office.

The best way to keep people from being an asshat to you, is to not be an asshat to them.

That's a question of pragmatics, not ethics. You're saying "if you act immoral, you will get caught and punished". That does not follow, and there are plenty of cases where people have done immoral things and never gotten punished (and we only know because they later confessed due to guilt).
Yes, you are LIKELY to be caught, but that doesn't say "do not be a theif". It says "be a good theif

If you're asking "why shouldn't I be an asshole" then chances are that it's entirely a pragmatic decision. Even if there were a God who rewarded the good and punished the evil, it'd still be up to pragmatism, because being rewarded for eternity is arguably better than being punished for the same endless amount of time.

If you just don't care about people, then it's still pragmatic to behave in accordance with their morals because it causes less problems for everyone, including you. You must decide which is worth more: the immediate gain of whatever you want to do that's immoral, or not living a life that other people and their laws and morals despise. You can live a moral life that lets you peacefully interact with society, or you can lead an immoral life that, one way or another, eventually separates you from society, whether by social banishment, incarceration, or the isolation that comes with having so many secrets in order to avoid the first two.

Archon:

Realitycrash:
Morality - Why bother?

Unless we assume that there is a God that either punishes or rewards us for our cruelty/good behavior, why should we act in any "moral" way at all?

A common reply will be "what if everyone acted that way? Then it would be worse for everyone!", but while this may be true, it doesn't prevent ME from being an total asshat, simply because me acting in one way doesn't automatically turn everyone else into asshats (it may encourage it, but why do I care?).

Realitycrash, this is a great question, and I think it's one that anyone committed to secular values needs to be able to answer seriously.

No one applying any system of modern ethics will be able to give you a satisfying answer. That is because not one of those ethical systems has been able to find a coherent basis outside of God. That is what led Nietzsche to conclude that since "God is dead", society will completely reject is old value system (which was, after all, just Christian values with their foundations removed).

The answer you seek will come from classical ethics. The difference between modern and classical ethics is that modern ethics says that ethics is: "How ought I treat other people" while classical ethics says "How do I flourish as a human being". Classical ethics is inherently egoistic. So you should act in a moral way in order to flourish (e.g. live a good life).

Now, modern ethicists will say that this isn't "really ethics" and it's "just pragmatism". I respond to that by saying (1) the classical ethicists (Plato, Aristotle, etc) invented the term ethics; (2) their system worked fine for thousands of years; and (3) pragmatism rightfully does belong as part of ethics, and indeed was a great virtue to the classicists.

I would recommend you read Aristotle, in particular his description of the Great-Souled Man. Aristotle thought that being an asshat was an important part of the good life.

PS If your answer is "why should I care if I flourish," the answer is a shrug, because its your life to care about, not mine. All I can do is tell you that surgeons with shaky hands are bad surgeons, and lives that don't flourish are bad lives.

I have the Nicomachean Ethics lying right next to me in bed. I'v read it several times. I also study Philosophy - Ethics for a living. This thread is more for other peoples thought-stimulation than mine, as I am fully aware of the "correct" answer ^^

And since you bring it up, Plato himself dicusses this in the dialogue "Thracymacus" (spelling probably wrong, too lazy to check right now) with the story about "The Ring of Gygas". He fails to provide a good reason to why one should be moral if one does not run the risk of getting caught.
Also; Aristotle assumes that we are born with a specific telos ("goal") and eregon ("function"), which I reject. If you reject this premis, his philosophy falls on most fundamental levels.

Danyal:

Realitycrash:
There is no proof that we, humans, are "moral from birth", there's just some genes that indicate it. And even if such is the case, it is irrelevant, because some people DO become happy by torturing kittens.

Have you watched the video?

Monkeys have got a strong sense of 'fairness' and 'compassion', the most important parts of morality.

De Waal's experiments:

[W]e did a study in which capuchin monkeys received either a grape or a piece of cucumber for a simple task.

If both monkeys got the same reward, there never was a problem. Grapes are by far preferred (as real primates, like us, they go for sugar content), but even if both received cucumber, they'd perform the task many times in a row.

However, if they received different rewards, the one who got the short end of the stick would begin to waver in its responses, and very soon start a rebellion by either refusing to perform the task or refusing to eat the cucumber.

This is an "irrational" response in the sense that if profit-maximizing is what life (and economics) is about, one should always take what one can get. Monkeys will always accept and eat a piece of cucumber whenever we give it to them, but apparently not when their partner is getting a better deal. In humans, this reaction is known as "inequity aversion."

This complex feeling of 'fairness' is the base of all morality. Do you do a lot of illegal things? Have you done a lot of illegal things without even knowing? Probably not. Have you studied all the laws of the country you live in? Probably not. You just know that hitting people is illegal, that raping is illegal, that trespassing is illegal, that breaking or stealing other people's stuff is illegal, etcetera.

That's because morality is ingrained in your brain.

Even if we assume this to be correct (that we are in fact not a [i]tabula rasa [/I]), every man is born with free will. Just because something is "ingrained in your brain" doesn't mean you can not strive for acting in a different manner. Ethics (and lack of) is not about what one DOES but what one SHOULD (or should not) do.
Or, as David Hume puts it, "Is does not imply ought".

Realitycrash:

Phasmal:

Realitycrash:

Yes, it's good for "society", but being an asshat can be good for ME, while the rest of you "fools" go around and care about society, so why should /I/ bother?
I already said that the "what if everyone acted that way"-argument was futile.

Have you only just realised you can be an asshat?
Yeah, you could be an asshat. You could go out and punch people, but then you would be arrested. And that wouldn't be good for you.
You could go out and be a dick if you like. It will probably have personal consequences (losing friends, etc).

There's nothing to stop you, but that doesn't mean you don't know the difference between wrong and right.

Being an asshat doesn't mean being a stupid asshat, it means acting only for the benefit of yourself. Getting arrested is not in my interest. Sniping people in the head from a rooftop, if I am 100% certain I will never be caught, might be, however.

The question isn't if I know "right from wrong" (let's assume that there are such things), but why I shouldn't ignore both cases and do as I please. Why should I not shape my own morality?

Sniping people from a roof top? Wouldn't you care about the people you killed, the grief you caused their friends and family?

A little bit of empathy is all it takes to be a moral person, in my opinion.

Realitycrash:
I have the Nicomachian Ethics lying right next to me in bed. I'v read it several times. I also study Philosophy - Ethics for a living. This thread is more for other peoples thought-stimulation than mine, as I am fully aware of the "correct" answer ^^

And since you bring it up, Plato himself dicusses this in the dialogue "Thracymacus" (spelling probably wrong, too lazy to check right now) with the story about "The Ring of Gygas". He fails to provide a good reason to why one should be moral if one does not run the risk of getting caught.
Also; Aristotle assumes that we are born with a specific telos ("goal") and eregon ("function"), which I reject. If you reject this premis, his philosophy falls on most fundamental levels.

You are engaging in Socratic Dialogue with our community, eh? Well done!

I agree that Plato's arguments fail in the Ring of Gygas.

As far as Aristotle, his particular instantiation of ethics depends on his teleological biology, but more recent philosophers have revived it in ways I find compelling; Phillipa Foot's Natural Goodness, Alasdair Macintyre's Dependent Rational Animals and After Virtue being some examples. I actually did my final work at law school under Robert Nozick on the very topic of Aristotelian ethics absent Aristotelian biology; it's a topic near and dear to my heart! Cheers.

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