L'etica moderna. Dalla Riforma a Nietzsche

Roma RM, Italia: Carocci (2007)
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This book tells the story of modern ethics, namely the story of a discourse that, after the Renaissance, went through a methodological revolution giving birth to Grotius’s and Pufendorf’s new science of natural law, leaving room for two centuries of explorations of the possible developments and implications of this new paradigm, up to the crisis of the Eighties of the eighteenth century, a crisis that carried a kind of mitosis, the act of birth of both basic paradigms of the two following centuries: Kantian ethics and utilitarianism. The new science of natural law carried a fresh start for ethics, resulting from a mixture of the Old and the New. It was, as suggested by Schneewind, an attempt at rescuing the content of Scholastic and Stoic doctrines on a new methodological basis. The former was the claim of existence of objective and universal moral laws; the latter was the self-aware attempt at justifying a minimal kernel of such laws facing skeptical doubt. What Bentham and Kant did was precisely carrying this strategy further on, even if restructuring it each of them around one out of two alternative basic claims. The nineteenth- and twentieth-century critics of the Enlightenment attacked both not on their alleged failure in carrying out their own projects, but precisely on having adopted Grotius’s and Pufendorf’s project. What counter-enlightenment has been unable to spell out is which alternative project could be carried out facing the modern condition of pluralism, while on the contrary, if we takes a closer look at developments in twentieth-century ethics or at on-going discussions on practical issues, we might feel inclined to believe that Grotius’s and Pufendorf’s project is as up-to-date as ever. Table of Contents Preface I. Fathers of the Reformation and Schoolmen 1.1. Luther: passive justice and the good deeds; 1.2. Calvin: voluntarism and predestination; 1.3. Baroque Scholasticism; 1.4. Casuistry and Institutiones morales II Neo-Platonists, neo-Stoics, neo-Sceptics 2.1. Aristotelian, neo-Platonic, neo-Epicurean and neo-Cynic Humanists; 2.2. Oeconomica and the art of living; 2.3. Neo-Stoics; 2.4. Neo-Sceptics; 2.5. Moralistic literature III Neo-Augustinians 3.l. The Jansenists on natura lapsa, sufficient grace, pure love; 3.2. Nicole on the impossibility of self-knowledge; 3.3. Nicole on self-love and charity; 3.4. Nicole against civic virtue, for Christian civility; 3.5. Malebranche on general laws and necessary evil; 3.6. Malebranche on Neo-Augustinianism and Platonism. IV Grotius, Pufendorf and the new moral science 4.1. Grotius against Aristotle and the sceptics; 4.2. Mersenne and Gassendi; 4.3. Descartes on ethics as the last branch of philosophy’s tree; 4.4. Hobbes on scepticism and the new moral science; 4.5. Spinoza on the new moral science as a descriptive science;4.6. Locke on voluntarism and probabilism; 4.7. Pufendorf on natural law as an exact science; 4.8. Pufendorf on physical and moral entities; 10. Pufendorf on self-preservation V The empiricist version of the new moral science: from Cumberland to Paley 5.1. Cumberland against Hobbesian voluntarism; 5.2. Cumberland and theological consequentialism; 5.3. Cumberland on universal benevolence and self-love; 5.4. Shaftesbury on the moral sense; 5.5. Hutcheson on natural law and moral faculties; 5.6. Gay, Brown, Paley and theological consequentialism. VI The rationalist version of the new moral science: from Cudworth to Price 6.1. The Cambridge Platonists; 6.2. Shaftesbury on the moral sense; 6.3. Butler and a third way between voluntarism and scepticism; 6.4. Price and the rational character of moral truths; VII Leibniz’s compromise between the new moral science and Aristotelianism 1.Leibniz against voluntarism; 2.Leibniz against the division between the physical and the moral good; 3.Leibniz on la place d’autrui and theological consequentialism; 4.Thomasius, Wolff, Crusius VIII French eighteenth-century philosophers without the new moral science 8.1. The genealogy of our ideas of virtue and vice; 8.2. Maupertuis and moral arithmetic 8.3. The philosophes and the harmony of interests; 8.4. Rousseau on corruption, self-love, and virtue; 8.5. Sade on the merits of vice IX Experimental moral science: Hume and Adam Smith 9.1. Mandeville’s paradox; 9.2. Hutcheson on the law of nature and moral faculties; 9.3. Hume on experimental moral philosophy and the intermediate principles; 9.4. Hume’s Law; 9.5. Hume on the fellow-feeling; 9.6. Hume on natural and artificial virtues and disinterested pleasure for utility; 9.7. Adam Smith’s anti-realist metaethics; 9.8. Adam Smith on self-deception and the paradox of happiness; 9.9. Adam Smith on sympathy and the impartial spectator; 9.10. Adam Smith on the twofold criterion for moral judgement and its paradox; 9.11. Reid on the refutation of scepticism and the self-evidence of duty X Kantian ethics 10.1. Kantian metaethics: moral epistemology; 10.2. Kantian metaethics: moral ontology; 10.3. Kantian metaethics: moral psychology; 10.4. Kantian normative ethics; 10.5. Kant on the impracticability of applied ethics; 10.6. Kantian moral anthropology; 10.7. Civilisation and moralisation; 10.8. Theology on a moral basis and the origins of evil; 10.9. Fichte and the transformation of theoretical philosophy into practical philosophy XI Bentham and utilitarianism 11.1. Bentham’s linguistic theory; 11.2. Bentham’s moral ontology, psychology, and theory of action; 11.3. The principle of greatest happiness; 11.4. The critique of religious ethics; 11.5. The new morality; 11.6. Interest and duty; 11.7. Virtues; 11.8. Private ethics and legislation XII Followers of the Enlightenment: liberal Judaism and Liberal Theology 12.1. Mendelssohn; 12.2. Salomon Maimon; 12.3. Haskalā and liberal Judaism; 12.4. Liberal Theology. XIII Counter-Enlighteners 13.1.Romanticism and the fulfilment of individuality as the Summum Bonum; 13.2. Hegel on history as the making of liberty; 13.3. Hegel on the unhappy consciousness and the beautiful soul; 13.4. Hegel on Morality and Sittlichkeit; 13.5. Marx on ideology, alienation, and praxis; 13.6. Schopenhauer on compassion; 13.7. Kierkegaard on faith beyond ethics. XIV Followers of the Enlightenment: intuitionists and utilitarian 14.1 Whewell‘s criticism of utilitarianism; 14.2 Whewell on morality and the philosophy of morality; 14.3 Whewell on the Supreme Norm; 14.4 Whewell on the conflict between duties; 14.5 Mill and the proof of the principle of utility; 14.6 Mill’s eudemonistic utilitarianism; 14.7 Mill on rules XV Followers of the Enlightenment: neo-Kantians and positivists 15.1. French spiritualism; 15.2. Neo-Kantians: the Marburg school; 15.3. Neo-Kantians: the Marburg school; 15.4. Comte’s positivism and the invention of altruism; 15.5. Social Darwinism; 15.6. Wundt and an ethic of humankind XVI Post-enlighteners: Sidgwick 16.1. Criticism of intuitionism; 16.2. On ethical egoism; 16.3. Criticism of utilitarianism XVII Post-enlighteners: Durkheim 17.1. Sociology as physics of customs; 17.2. Morality as physics of customs and as practical science; 17.3. On Kantian ethics and utilitarianism; 17.4. The variability of moralities;17.5. Social solidarity as end and justification of morality; 17.6. Secular morality as “sociodicy”; XVIII Post-enlighteners: Nietzsche 18.1. On the Dionysian; 18.2. On the deconstruction of the world of values 18.3 On the twofold genealogy of moralities; 18.4. On ascetics and nihilism; 18.5. Normative ethics of self-fulfilment Bibliography / Index of names / Index of concepts

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