Project Das natürlich Schlechte: Zum Wesen des Leids und seiner Rolle in der gegenwärtigen Tugendethik"

Basic data

Title:
Das natürlich Schlechte: Zum Wesen des Leids und seiner Rolle in der gegenwärtigen Tugendethik"
Duration:
01/10/2019 to 30/09/2022
Abstract / short description:
This project examines the nature of suffering and its role in virtue ethics. Given the intensive debates on the nature of emotions and desires, as well as phenomena such as pleasure and pain, within analytic philosophy in the past thirty years, it is surprising how little attention suffering has received. One reason might be that it is a very complex phenomenon that can include emotions, desires and feelings at the same time. In the first part of this project I will argue the essence of suffering, i.e. that which the varied manifestations of suffering necessarily contain, is a certain configuration of the will: it is a pall cast on our desires that makes them weaker in motivational power and that makes the evaluation of the desired objects less positive. In the second part of this project I will link my account to Neo-Aristotelian Ethical Naturalism, the family of theories that claim that ethical and moral goodness can be grounded in the telos of our nature. I will demonstrate that taking suffering to be that which is naturally bad for all living creatures can dissolve a much debated dilemma that Neo-Aristotelian Naturalism supposedly suffers from: either we derive ethical and moral goodness from an account of nature that is already evaluatively laden (second nature), in which case our naturalism is much less attractive, or we derive ethical and moral goodness from the nature we share with other animals, in which case the account of morally good and bad actions will be very counterintuitive. Finally, in the third part of this project, I will argue that practical wisdom essentially consists in understanding suffering in ourselves and others.

Involved staff

Managers

Institute of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy and Media, Faculty of Humanities

Local organizational units

Institute of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy and Media
Faculty of Humanities

Funders

Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
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