Download e-book for kindle: Agents and Lives by S. L. Goldberg

By S. L. Goldberg

ISBN-10: 0521112443

ISBN-13: 9780521112444

ISBN-10: 0521394686

ISBN-13: 9780521394680

Brokers and Lives deals a brand new and significant rethinking of the conventional ''humanist'' view of literature. That tradition's valuation of literature for its ''moral import'' is prolonged in a much broader, extra complicated, open and exploratory realizing of these phrases. Goldberg's argument levels throughout literature because the Renaissance, targeting examples from George Eliot's novels and Pope's poetry. An appendix assesses the connection of his argument to fresh money owed of literature provided via ethical philosophers akin to Iris Murdoch, Bernard Williams, Martha Nussbaum and Richard Rorty.

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In the long run, the drunk is probably less of a menace to the world than the fanatic. But in any case, the sentiment surely is a 'moral idea', whether we think it a good one or not. Similarly, with Arnold's conception of an 'indifference' to morals. As he himself tries to insist in this same essay, moral ideas are not only a matter of 'content', nor is 'style' ever morally null. Why then is a care only for 'studied and exquisite form' not itself a moral idea, even if one that usually amounts to no more than a vapid, self-conceited conventionality?

E. ' Or we find attractions in a poetry indifferent to them; in a poetry where the contents may be what they will, but where the form is studied and exquisite. We delude ourselves in either case; and the best cure for our delusion is to let our minds rest upon that great and inexhaustible word life, until we learn to enter into its 12 Agents and lives meaning. A poetry of revolt against moral ideas is a poetry of revolt against life; a poetry of indifference towards moral ideas is a poetry of indifference towards life.

As against a morality in this 'narrow' sense, a morality in a ' broad' sense would be a general, all-inclusive theory of conduct: the morality to which someone subscribed would be whatever body of principles he allowed ultimately to guide or determine his choices of action... noone could, in his choices of action, deliberately overrule what was his morality in the broad sense, though he might diverge from it through 'weakness of will'. That is like a point made by Hare; and in much the same way as Hare, Mackie also thinks that [t]here is no point in discussing whether the broad or the narrow sense of 'morality' is the more correct.

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Agents and Lives by S. L. Goldberg

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