New PDF release: An Anthropology of Ethics (New Departures in Anthropology)

By James D. Faubion

ISBN-10: 1107004942

ISBN-13: 9781107004948

Via an formidable and demanding revision of Michel Foucault's research of ethics, James Faubion develops an unique software of empirical inquiry into the moral area. From an anthropological point of view, Faubion argues that Foucault's specification of the analytical parameters of this area is the best aspect of departure in conceptualizing its specified good points. He extra argues that Foucault's framework is wanting immense revision to be of certainly anthropological scope. In making this revision, Faubion illustrates his software with prolonged case experiences: one in all a Portuguese marquis and the opposite of a twin topic made of the writer and a millenarian prophetess. the result's a conceptual gear that's in a position to accommodate moral pluralism and yield an account of the boundaries of moral version, delivering a singular answer of the matter of relativism that has haunted anthropological inquiry into ethics on account that its inception.

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Additional info for An Anthropology of Ethics (New Departures in Anthropology)

Example text

The stigma of the lack of self-control might be the flaw of the tragic hero, but is especially the flaw of the tragic heroine, of Helen or Medea or Clytemnestra or Phaedra, whose hyperbolic and unrestrainable passion hurtles her toward the carrying out of fateful and accursed transgressions. It is perhaps the stigma even of the more ordinary ancient woman, whose putatively greater natural susceptibility to passion and appetite Aristotle registers as a deficiency of bouleˆsis, the faculty of deliberation or the rational consideration of alternatives.

In systems-theoretic terms, its principles and practices are those of system-maintenance. Its ends must be prevailingly homeostatic, since the polis, for an Aristotle who proves once again to be something other than modern, is already perfect and thus in principle at least permits of no further improvement. Politikeˆ has ethics as one of its cardinal concerns because the maintenance of the polis requires the existence of citizens equipped intellectually with the judgment to govern it and characterologically with the dispositions affinate to the civilization it realizes.

First, especially in Merit and Responsibility, he 40 Foucault in Athens treats the prevailing values of Homeric society as uniformly consequentialist and having their proof entirely in competitive success and largely unqualified by any overarching normative constraints on the means of achieving it. Conversely, “the feeling of shame” in the “shame culture” that Homeric society putatively is confuses in practice the distinction between moral error and failure, a symptom of a moral system whose existence thus demands no explanation because “it springs from what is primitive and primary” (1960: 49).

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An Anthropology of Ethics (New Departures in Anthropology) by James D. Faubion


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