By John Wilson (auth.)
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Extra info for A Preface to Morality
His job is to specify what must always be a virtue for any creature in any society. (2) Connected with this, but a methodological difficulty in its own right, is the simple but important fact that we cannot rely on any one language - or even on many languages - as a quarry for virtue-words. This may be partly because the language is influenced by social conditions and ideology, but partly because of less obvious linguistic accidents. For instance, there is no English word for the German Schadenfreude and the Greek epichairekakia; conversely, no language (that I know of) has a single term for the virtue corresponding to this vice - the virtue which St Paul perhaps had in mind when instructing us to rejoice with them that rejoice, the taking pleasure in another's pleasure.
This may be partly because the language is influenced by social conditions and ideology, but partly because of less obvious linguistic accidents. For instance, there is no English word for the German Schadenfreude and the Greek epichairekakia; conversely, no language (that I know of) has a single term for the virtue corresponding to this vice - the virtue which St Paul perhaps had in mind when instructing us to rejoice with them that rejoice, the taking pleasure in another's pleasure. Yet Morality, Virtues and Categories 25 both the virtue and the vice are immediately recognisable in all tolerably sophisticated societies.
114). But that line of thought runs into just the same problems. There will be some desirable states of affairs in this world - perhaps that as many people as possible do God's will and have their supernatural reward; and a God who did not want us to promote that state of affairs would need a tutorial from Geach in formal logic. ) Consequentialists and utilitarians can fairly be castigated if they (or their titles) imply a limitation on what is to count as a reason for action that excludes taking into account the horror, loss of integrity and psychological disruption that certain acts involve.
A Preface to Morality by John Wilson (auth.)