[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Appeal for help

Perhaps xmca could take a break from discussing Ethics while everyone studies



Andy Blunden
On 8/07/2016 10:03 PM, Jonathan Tudge wrote:
I think that virtue ethicists influenced by Aristotle would be cautious
about linking virtues and habits. A habit may be simply rule-governed.  For
example, I follow the rule to always say "thank you" when given a gift and
always give, in return, a gift of equal value, but I do so without
understanding why I should express thanks.  I can hardly be said to have
the virtue of gratitude.  That's why neo-Aristotelians invoke the concept
of phronesis, or practical wisdom.  I have to understand the meaning of
expressing thanks and engaging in grateful behaviour, as well as doing it
on a regular basis (when appropriate), and that comes with experience.

In case anyone's interested, fuller thoughts on this issue appear in Tudge,
Freitas, & O'Brien (2015). The virtue of gratitude: A developmental and
cultural approach. * Human Development, 58*, 281-300.




Jonathan Tudge

Office: 155 Stone


Mailing address:
248 Stone Building
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
PO Box 26170
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170

phone (336) 223-6181
fax   (336) 334-5076


On Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 11:30 PM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>

Anyone have suggestions of writings on ethics from a CHAT perspective?

Also, I was quite taken by Annalisa's linking ethics to "habit" precisely
because this is the way that I would like to construe ethics - embodied
habits/dispositions (person X habitually responds to a particular type of
situation with behavior Y). To say anything more requires invoking one
ethical framework or another (and even my definition does this since the
construal of "a particular type of situation" as such necessarily already
invokes cultural meaningfulnesses that are also likely to entail ethical


On Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 10:52 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

... and this is really not the forum for clarifying these issues of
Ethics, honestly.


Andy Blunden
On 8/07/2016 11:36 AM, Christopher Schuck wrote:

Much of this last interchange seems to be as much about meta-ethics as
normative ethics. Andy chooses to identify ethics with human activity in
terms of practical norms (and some epistemologists argue that practical
reason is inherently normative). Others might see it more in terms of
"ideal good" (as Annalisa put it). If we're discussing how ethics is to
even be conceptualized and approached (e.g. questioning dichotomies of
"good" and "evil", whether a priori or a posteriori is relevant, virtues
opposed to criterion-based consequentialism) - we're getting into
meta-ethics. For what that's worth.

On Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 9:18 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu>

Hi Andy,

So you are describing Normative Ethics, not Ethics.

Interestingly, "ethics" does derive from the Greek word for "habit"

A habit seems to have a lack of awareness in it. Certainly habits are
to break, which is why we hope to have good habits, not bad ones.

Unless you would like to define what you mean by "Practical norms" it
seems to be an "amoral" phrase to me.

Typically, as I understand it, ethics is the study of human morality in
the attempt to define what is good and right, vs. not good and not
one can determine what is proper actions to live by (what habits are
having). I consider that to be a consideration of values a priori. In
of what is ideal or hypothetical.

Normative ethics seems to be a study of actions a posteriori, after the

Please note that I do not like to use the terms "evil" or "wrong" and
prefer to orient from the relations of what is good and what is right.
avoids dichotomies, and it allows for a spectrum of something being
right, or having more goodness than something else.

Getting back to utilitarianism, I still see it as a justification for
economics, that is, economics as practiced today, which is usually not
scientifically, though it is very mathematical in nature. To measure
utility requires all kinds of strange formulae, and that's why I used
metaphor hall of mirrors.

Still, I prefer to consider utility as a projection, than a reflection.

Eating humans has a projected value of goodness in one society, but not

Not harming myself or others seems to have a universal application, and
it doesn't seem to be a projected subjective value, but a reflected
I may claim that a projected value is relative and subjective while a
reflected one is a universal, objective value.

Happiness is also a universal, objective value. I don't know anyone who
doesn't value happiness. However what makes people happy is a
subjective value. That's where utility comes in.

For what that is worth.

Kind regards,


Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602