The Moral Philosophy of George Santayana
|Issue Date:||Jan-1986||Start page/Pages:||043-064||Source:||國立臺灣大學哲學論評||Abstract:||
This is a study of George Santayana’ ethical theory. Santayana never wrote any systematic treatise on moral philosophy, though he claims that it is his chosen subject. In this paper I try to piece together his scattered reflections and remarks on ethical problems, and to present them in a cogent and systematic form. The paper is divided into four sections. Section one clarifies Santayana’s view of the nature and scope of ethics. Section two explains Santayana’s ethical naturalism and relativism, and recapitulates his arguments against the view that good is absolute and unconditioned. Section three deals with Santayana’s theory of reason in morality, of which self-knowledge and harmony are the two essential elements. Section four includes some critical observations. Both Santayana’s particular type of ethical relativism and his theory of rational ethics are important contributions to the field. Yet his moral philosophy contains an equivocation and confusion between ‘is’ and ‘ought’, and he fails to provide a satisfactory account of moral obligation.
|Appears in Collections:||哲學系|
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