Beyond the Self
Virtue Ethics and the Problem of Culture
296 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- Published: July 2019
W. David Solomon sits at the very center of the revival of virtue ethics. Solomon’s work extended what began with the publication of G. E. M. Anscombe’s "Modern Moral Philosophy" (1958) by solidifying virtue ethics as a viable approach within contemporary moral philosophy.
Beyond the Self: Virtue Ethics and the Problem of Culture comprises twelve chapters: eleven that employ Solomon’s work and legacy, followed by a twelfth concluding chapter by Solomon himself. Each chapter deepens and develops virtue ethics as a rich intellectual tradition rooted in Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.
Editor Raymond Hain divides the volume into three sections. The first addresses the historical contexts of happiness, justice, and mercy in the tradition of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas. The second turns to recent themes in normative ethics, focusing on topics such as morality, virtue, and egoism. The third discusses broader ethical issues with significant cultural implications, such as human dignity, physician-assisted suicide, and secularization.
Beyond the Self uncovers the shortcomings of contemporary moral philosophy and the depth and capacity of the Aristotelian and Thomistic traditions, reminding the reader that classical virtue ethics remains the most promising framework for understanding the moral life.
Contributors include: Michael Beaty, Kevin L. Flannery, Raymond Hain, John Haldane, Thomas Hibbs, Irfan Khawaja, Alasdair MacIntyre, John O’Callaghan, Bryan C. Pilkington, W. David Solomon, Christopher Toner, and Candace Vogler.
Part One: Historical Themes
1. Intrinsic Aptness and the Embodied Self: The Role of External Goods in Eudaimonia
2. The Complexity of Justice: Thomas Aquinas’ Interpretation of the Fifth Book of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics
Kevin L. Flannery, S.J.
3. Fearless Mercy beyond Justice: Aquinas and Nussbaum’s Pity Tradition
4. The Problem of Justice: Anscombe, Solomon, and Radical Virtue Ethics
Part Two: Normative Ethics
5. Whither Moral Philosophy?
6. Philippa Foot and Iris Murdoch on (Natural) Goodness
Michael D. Beaty
7. David Solomon on Egoism and Virtue
8. You Owe It to Yourself
Part Three: Ethics and Culture
9. Dignity and the Challenge of Agreement
Bryan C. Pilkington
10. Against the "Autonomy" and "Best Interest" Defenses of Medically Assisted Death
11. Some Thoughts on Secularization
12. Elizabeth Anscombe and the Late Twentieth-Century Revival of Virtue Ethics
W. David Solomon
This exceptional and timely collection of essays, written by David Solomon’s students and colleagues, pays due homage to Professor Solomon's philosophical legacy, and is a testament to the hope that his influence will long endure.~Jennifer A. Frey, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of South Carolina
Beyond the Self challenges widespread assumptions in ethics, and many of the authors also present their own positive views. The volume is a fitting tribute to David Solomon as a master teacher and one of the leading mentors in moral philosophy in the past half century.~Robert Audi, John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame
Beyond the Self offers a wonderful introduction to a tradition of enquiry that Professor Solomon has helped to advance and renew. True to the practice of the man himself, the essays in this volume engage ethical concerns from within their normative, historical, and cultural context. The volume is a high-level conversation about contemporary issues in ethics.~Michael Sherwin, Professor of Theology, University of Fribourg
These essays honor Professor Solomon both by speaking to his core interests and by each making valuable contributions. The collection includes papers by well-known, significant participants in debates in moral philosophy and papers by some younger scholars, now making their own important contributions to the case for virtue ethics.~Jonathan Jacobs, Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
While the volume on the whole is critical of Kantian and utilitarian philosophies, a few of the contributors open the door for an incorporation of the modern turn to the subject within the umbrella of Aristotelian-Thomist moral philosophy. The book is recommended for scholars, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates in moral philosophy and theology, especially those interested in the work of Anscombe.~Christopher Denny, Journal of Moral Theology