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The Irony of Metaethics

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE003228/00001

Material Information

Title: The Irony of Metaethics Humility & the Quasi-Divine Imagination
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Harry, Richard
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2003
Publication Date: 2003

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Ethics
Humility
Quasi-Divine Imagination
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This thesis joins recent trends in contemporary ethical theory by pushing towards a historicist and pragmatic approach to understanding the contingency of our moral ideals, while simultaneously confronting the longrunning essentialist debates about man's allegedly universal and fundamental moral identity. The latter focus is a quasi- metaphysical obsession that can be traced historically from theological sources, manifesting itself in radically diverse ways throughout the philosophies of both Kant and Nietzsche. This essentialist search is characterized by a vocabulary that limits man's intrinsic moral identity to an ahistorical 'essence', the bottom of the self, a core that is rigid and non-fluctuating. My analysis suggests that this essentialist impulse easily pulls in two equally undesirable directions: at one extreme, the 'moral law' and an abstract supra-human vision of the 'good in-itself' offers us a quasi-divine conception of the self; conversely, the intrinsically cruel and 'selfdestructive' nature of the 'will to power' leads us to a hopeless and nihilistic conception of man's moral identity. By contrast, the pragmatic approach concentrates on the various ways of sustaining and perpetuating our utopian dreams and shared moral ideals. This view holds that language is the primary force in shaping our self-image and moral identity, and it asks us to be self-conscious and critical about our use of different vocabularies. This anti-essentialist approach abandons static debates about man's essential and universal nature, instead opting for an ungrounded practical hope that learns to deal without guarantee or certainty on such irresolvable 'eternal questions'. This thesis takes a theological stance insofar as it is willing to give priority to love over knowledge in sustaining the hope that is necessary to breath life into our moral dreams.
Statement of Responsibility: by Richard Harry
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2003
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Michalson, Gordon

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2003 H3b
System ID: NCFE003228:00001

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE003228/00001

Material Information

Title: The Irony of Metaethics Humility & the Quasi-Divine Imagination
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Harry, Richard
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2003
Publication Date: 2003

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Ethics
Humility
Quasi-Divine Imagination
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This thesis joins recent trends in contemporary ethical theory by pushing towards a historicist and pragmatic approach to understanding the contingency of our moral ideals, while simultaneously confronting the longrunning essentialist debates about man's allegedly universal and fundamental moral identity. The latter focus is a quasi- metaphysical obsession that can be traced historically from theological sources, manifesting itself in radically diverse ways throughout the philosophies of both Kant and Nietzsche. This essentialist search is characterized by a vocabulary that limits man's intrinsic moral identity to an ahistorical 'essence', the bottom of the self, a core that is rigid and non-fluctuating. My analysis suggests that this essentialist impulse easily pulls in two equally undesirable directions: at one extreme, the 'moral law' and an abstract supra-human vision of the 'good in-itself' offers us a quasi-divine conception of the self; conversely, the intrinsically cruel and 'selfdestructive' nature of the 'will to power' leads us to a hopeless and nihilistic conception of man's moral identity. By contrast, the pragmatic approach concentrates on the various ways of sustaining and perpetuating our utopian dreams and shared moral ideals. This view holds that language is the primary force in shaping our self-image and moral identity, and it asks us to be self-conscious and critical about our use of different vocabularies. This anti-essentialist approach abandons static debates about man's essential and universal nature, instead opting for an ungrounded practical hope that learns to deal without guarantee or certainty on such irresolvable 'eternal questions'. This thesis takes a theological stance insofar as it is willing to give priority to love over knowledge in sustaining the hope that is necessary to breath life into our moral dreams.
Statement of Responsibility: by Richard Harry
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2003
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Michalson, Gordon

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2003 H3b
System ID: NCFE003228:00001

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