Institute of Philosophy
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  № 13
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Maximov L. Dilemma of «Naturality» and «Non-naturality» of Moral Motivation

Unusualness of moral motivation and its apparent distinction (in some respects) from any other motivations of human behavior have become a source for a variety of metaphysical concepts which repudiate possibility to describe and explain morality in terms of natural causality and which seek to solve this task by creating a special picture of the world, including an idea of the transcendent and intelligible dimension of being. The article analyzes and specifies criteria under which particular features of morality have been interpreted directly or indirectly by philosophers as «non-natural», and therefore they required appropriate speculative schemes to explain them. Critical analysis of classic arguments of ethical naturalism has been provided as well in which sole naturality of morality is argued through wrong reduction of moral values to non-moral ones.

Key words: moral motivation, naturality vs. non-naturality, naturalistic ethics, metaphysical ethics, explanation vs. justification, knowledge vs. values, cognitivism


Solomon D. Filling the Void: Academic Ethics and Secular Medicine

The author explores a narrative about the interaction among Anglophone academic ethics, religious approaches to ethics and secularism in the last half of the twentieth century. Although the particular events in this history are already well-known to anyone familiar with the development of academic ethics in recent decades, the author’s goal is to set these events in relation to one another in the way that will shed new light on their broader cultural significance.

Key words: academic moral philosophy, applied ethics, bioethics, metaethics, religion, secularism


Shokhin V. The Fourth way? An Ethical Foundation of Agathology

Advantages of virtue ethics over two other main programs of metaethics, i.e. utilitarianism and deonthologism, leave, nevertheless, undecided the question about why this “ “third way” in ethics has managed to make more contribution into critics of its opponents than to building its own coherent theory. The main answer offered in the paper is that Anscombe, Foot, MacIntyre and their followers haven’t laid into the basement of their new Aristotelianism what Aristotle himself considered to be the foundation of his teaching of virtues – a theory of the goods. But this mode of basing arethic ethics leads beyond its limits, to “the fourth way”, that is to agatological ethics.

Key words: Aristotle, Kant, Anscombe, MacIntyre, virtue ethics, utilitarianism, deonthology, agathology, virtues, the goods


Oldenquist A. Moral Miracles and the Incoherence of Original Sin

The incoherence of original sin follows from the impossibility of moral miracles such as human nature being made sinful without any other change, from the incoherence of making someone sinful as punishment, and from the dependence of our opinion of God’s morality on human morality. Physical miracles can be untrue but coherent, as when God overrides natural law and parts the Red Sea. Original Sin was Christian recruitment strategy because the only escape was confessing to Christ and thus becoming a Christian.

Key words: moral miracle, physical miracle, original sin, God, morality, hell, lust, incoherence, punishment, Christianity


Gelfond M. The Problem of the Relationship between Morality and Religion: Truth or Absolute?

The article deals with the fundamental problem of the relationship between morality and religion. The author carries out classification and comparative analysis of the main ways to solve this problem in the history of the European philosophy. The subject of the study is the concept of true religion and absolute morality in Kant’s and L. Tolstoy interpretations.

Key words: philosophy, morals (ethics), religion, intellect, belief, God, moral law, moral ideal, meaning of life




Zubets O. Is a Friend Needed by the Person Who Asks Scarcely Anything?

The article is devoted to the question how self-sufficiency can be compatible with friendship: these two concepts are essential for the Aristotle’s ideals of a person (Great-minded) and a polis. In his philosophical concept of friendship Aristotle overcomes and denies the everyday understanding: he rejects the usefulness and that means that friendship keeps its aim and value in itself; he stresses that friendship is an action in which the self-sufficient person, high-minded plays an active role being the agent who loves his own creation. The kernel of this concept is the idea of friendship with oneself giving birth to the friend and polis as friendship, so that Aristotle’s friendship based on virtue appears to be the form of self-sufficiency and his analisys happenss to be an approach to the problem of moral subject and the world, the Other.

Key words: self-sufficient, friend, Aristotle, Great-minded, action, friendship with oneself, polis


Gadzhikurbanov A. The Metaphysical Foundations of Spinoza’s Ethics

The article focuses on the problem of relationship between metaphysics and ethics in the Ethics of Spinoza. The author argues that moral philosophy of Spinosa is built on the basis of the priorities of his metaphysical doctrine. In the foundation of the moral being laid primary metaphysical aspiration of every being to preserve its existence, also the desire for self-preservation is the first and only basis of moral virtue. The metaphysical doctrine of substance in Spinosa’s Ethics, its attributes and modes and their hierarchical order should performs modeling functions regarding ethics.

Key words: Metaphysics, ethics, relationship, priorities of the metaphysical doctrine, aspiration to preserve its existence, the desire for self-preservation, the hierarchical order, modeling functions


Apressyan R. Shaftesbury’s Soliloquy: the Construction of Moral Subjectivity

So, in Soliloquy, or Advice to an Author Shaftesbury demonstrates that the person self-determine herself owing to her advanced self-consciousness and critical self-understanding which become possible only on the basis of mastering the fruits of culture and communication, including edifying communication with perfect characters (virtuosos).

Key words: Shaftesbury, soliloquy, ‘Recognize Youself’, moral sense, Alcibiades I, Giordano Bruno, heroic frenzies, moral self-consciousness


Prokofyev A.V. Justice and Ressentiment (Marginal Notes on F.Nietzsche’ On the Genealogy of Morality)

The paper deals with three approaches to the problem of reactive origins and manifestations of the sense of justice proposed by F.Nietzsche in the polemical tract On the Genealogy of Morality. The first approach treats an appeal to justice as a way to conceal hatred and the drive for revenge under the guise of promoting objective values and observing objective principles. The second approach interpreted justice as a counterbalance to the unrestricted drive for revenge, as a basis for restraining and overcoming reactive affects (ressentiment). The third approach presupposes that the one part of current views of justice is generated and infected by ressentiment but the other part is free from the influence of reactive affects. Later each of the approaches was adopted by ethical theories that criticize and rehabilitate the sense of justice.

Key words: F.Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality, sense of justice, ressentiment, resentment, hatred, revenge




Matveev P. The Act of Self-Sacrifice (Ethical Analysis)

The paper focuses on two groups of determination of the act of self-sacrifice. They are analyzed on the basis of phenomenological and axiological approaches. In the paper it is investigated how a person is determined by moral noesa and by transcendent moral value of others' lives. It is shown that the moral values are regarded by a human being as ultimate reason of his/her moral choice.

Key words: act, self-sacrifice, phenomenology, axiology, noema, noesa, moral value, the limiting basis, freedom, responsibility


Miller Ch. Do People have the Virtues or Vices? (Some Results from Psychology)

In this paper the author focuses on just one area of our moral lives, namely cheating motivation and behavior, and briefly examines whether there is any empirical support for the relevant virtue of honesty or vice of dishonesty. In section one, he reviews some of the leading research on cheating behavior, and in section two he does the same for cheating motivation. Section three then outlines several requirements for honesty and dishonesty. The author explains why, in light of the current psychological evidence, these requirements do not seem to be met.

Key words: Virtue, vice, cheating, honesty, dishonesty, cheating motivation, honor code, character


Bakshtanovski V. Approaching Innovative Paradigm: the Development of Vladimir Bakshtanovski and Yuri Sogomonov Association for Applied Ethics

The paper observes the history of one of the research trends in the Russian ethics, namely, applied ethics, presented in a specific way. The author describes the peculiar features of the approach to applied ethics he developed together with his colleague and friend, the late Professor Yuri Sogomonov, discusses the origins of applied ethics in Russia, its stages, the challenges it faced, and its perspectives.

Key words: applied ethics, practical philosophy, moral choice, ethics training workshop, ethical expertise


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