Desiring the Good: Ancient Proposals and Contemporary Theory by Katja Maria VogtDesiring the Good: Ancient Proposals and Contemporary Theory by Katja Maria Vogt

Desiring the Good: Ancient Proposals and Contemporary Theory

byKatja Maria Vogt

Hardcover | September 15, 2017

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Desiring the Good defends a novel and distinctive approach in ethics that is inspired by ancient philosophy. Ethics, according to this approach, starts from one question and its most immediate answer: "what is the good for human beings?" - "a well-going human life." Ethics thus conceived isbroader than moral philosophy. It includes a range of topics in psychology and metaphysics. Plato's Philebus is the ancestor of this approach. Its first premise, defended in Book I of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, is that the final agential good is the good human life. Though Aristotle introducesthis premise while analyzing human activities, it is absent from approaches in the theory of action that self-identify as Aristotelian. This absence, Vogt argues, is a deep and far-reaching mistake, one that can be traced back to Elizabeth Anscombe's influential proposals. And yet, the book isAnscombian in spirit. It engages with ancient texts in order to contribute to philosophy today, and it takes questions about the human mind to be prior to, and relevant to, substantive normative matters. In this spirit, Desiring the Good puts forward a new version of the Guise of the Good, namelythat desire to have one's life go well shapes and sustains mid- and small-scale motivations. A theory of good human lives, it is argued, must make room for a plurality of good lives. Along these lines, the book lays out a non-relativist version of Protagoras's Measure Doctrine and defends a new kindof realism about good human lives.
Katja Maria Vogt is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. She specializes in ancient philosophy, ethics, and normative epistemology. In her books and papers, she focuses on questions that figure both in ancient and in contemporary discussions: What are values? What kind of values are knowledge and truth? What does it mean to ...
Title:Desiring the Good: Ancient Proposals and Contemporary TheoryFormat:HardcoverDimensions:232 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:September 15, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190692472

ISBN - 13:9780190692476

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Editorial Reviews

"Vogt's method resembles that of modern thinkers who have drawn on Aristotle as a resource to inform contemporary virtue-ethics and eudaimonism, though she herself carves out a different line, which does not fall neatly into these categories. The book has an original and arresting thesis,which is stated and argued with clarity and in an engaging way. The book is challenging, intellectually, and is in this sense a demanding read, but is not especially technical and is sometimes disarmingly straightforward in its claims." --Christopher Gill, University of Exeter