The Impossibility of Perfection: Aristotle, Feminism, and the Complexities of Ethics

Paperback | November 6, 2013

byMichael Slote

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Most people think that the difficulty of balancing career and personal/family relationships is the fault of present-day society or is due to their own inadequacies. But in this major new book, eminent moral philosopher Michael Slote argues that the difficulty runs much deeper, that it is dueto the essential nature of the divergent goods involved in this kind of choice. He shows more generally that perfect human happiness and perfect virtue are impossible in principle, a view originally enunciated by Isaiah Berlin, but much more thoroughly and synoptically defended here than everbefore. Ancient Greek and modern-day Enlightenment thought typically assumed that perfection was possible, and this is also true of Romanticism and of most recent ethical theory. But if, as Slote maintains, imperfection is inevitable, then our inherited categories of virtue and personal good are far toolimited and unqualified to allow us to understand and cope with the richer and more complex life that characterizes today's world. And The Impossibility of Perfection argues in particular that we need some new notions, new distinctions, and even new philosophical methods in order to distill some ofthe ethical insights of recent feminist thought and arrive at a fuller and more realistic picture of ethical phenomena.

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Most people think that the difficulty of balancing career and personal/family relationships is the fault of present-day society or is due to their own inadequacies. But in this major new book, eminent moral philosopher Michael Slote argues that the difficulty runs much deeper, that it is dueto the essential nature of the divergent good...

Michael Slote is Professor of Philosophy, University of Miami. He is the author of From Enlightenment to Receptivity, Morals From Motives, Moral Sentimentalism, Selected Essays, Essays in the History of Ethics, and From Morality to Virtue among other books.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:184 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:November 6, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199349495

ISBN - 13:9780199349494

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Beyond EnlightenmentForeword to Part I1. Empathy and Objectivity2. Epistemology and Emotion3. Caring and Enlightenment4. How Important Is Morality?5. The Impossibility of Perfection6. A New PicturePart II: ReceptivityForeword to Part II7. Receptivity8. Green Thinking9. From Enlightenment to Receptivity10. The Virtue of ReceptivityConclusion