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Re: Virtue Ethics and Existentialism

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  • jimstuart51
    Wil, With regard to what you write about Nietzsche, I think I have not made the meaning of my terms clear enough. I use the word `ethical to mean something
    Message 1 of 11 , Apr 13, 2008
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      Wil,

      With regard to what you write about Nietzsche, I think I have not
      made the meaning of my terms clear enough. I use the word `ethical'
      to mean something different from the word `moral'.

      For me, ethics, and the ethical, is do to with all human evaluations,
      and hence with all human choices and actions.

      Thus I can agree with you that Nietzsche rejects all moralities, all
      moral systems. But, he was still in the business of "re-evaluating
      all values", of considering questions to do with the best way to
      live, and the best attitudes to have.

      Nietzsche was no nihilist, and thus he argued for certain values as
      being life-enhancing and conducive to the good life. Thus, on my
      understanding of the term `ethical', Nietzsche had an ethical
      viewpoint, although I agree with you that he often characterised the
      higher individual as the person of good taste, and thus his ethical
      viewpoint was very close to being an aesthetic viewpoint.

      My reluctance to say that Nietzsche had only an aesthetic viewpoint
      is based on my thought that aesthetics is more a matter of
      contemplation and not a matter of action, whilst an ethical viewpoint
      necessarily involves some practical upshot. (I concede that Eagleton
      does use the term `aesthetic' in a wide sense, so that one's
      aesthetic experience does inform one's actions.)

      I am happy to accept what you say about Aristotle and Kant in your
      last post. Certainly Kant's account of the ethical is rich and multi-
      faceted and he was not merely putting forward a legalistic moral code.

      Jim
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