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By Lawrence C. Becker, Charlotte B. Becker

This newly revised and up to date version of A historical past of Western Ethics is a coherent and available review of an important figures and influential principles of the heritage of ethics within the Western philosophical culture.

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The practical upshot of this is the attempt to ensure that each person is, in the classical definition of justice, rendered what is due. SCOTT DAVIS psychology, not to mention the diversity of sins, it is important that conscience be examined so that in making restitution all parties—God, the sinner, the human victim, and society as a whole—be treated fairly. Thus the early medieval period lays the foundation for causistry, the examination of the casus conscientiae that is essential to determining equity, what the high middle ages will, following Aristotle, come to call epieikeia.

The natural law covers the conduct of all persons, establishing, for example, the responsibility of parents for the upbringing of their offspring, and the propriety of meeting violent attack with force. Isidore seemed to imply that the natural law establishes constraints on the civil law, which to be sound must promote the common good in accord with nature, tradition, and social context (Etymologiae, 5, 4; 5, 21). The Carolingian Renaissance The renaissance of learning, which had its center at the court of Charlemagne (742–814), did not give rise to innovation in moral thought.

Is the conspicuous example—completed their education by studying at philosophical schools in Athens, thus acquiring fluency in Greek and a lifetime interest in the subject. Such study included a practical element. Rhetoric was essential to the education of ambitious Romans. Greek philosophy provided training in argument and conceptual refinement that could impress a Roman audience. Independently of Greece, however, Rome had a strongly entrenched moral tradition. It was concern for the preservation of that tradition which motivated Cato’s fears of what philosophers might do to the youth of Rome.

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