Ethical Philosophers and their respective ethical philosophies

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In History
  • 490 BCE

    Ancient Greek Ethics: PROTAGORAS (490 BCE- 420 BCE) RELATIVISM

    Ancient Greek Ethics: PROTAGORAS (490 BCE- 420 BCE) RELATIVISM
    Protagoras (490–420 BCE ca) was one of the most important sophists and exerted considerable influence in fifth-century intellectual debates. His teaching had a practical and concrete goal, and many of the surviving testimonies and fragments suggest that it was mainly devoted to the development of argumentative techniques. But some of his views also raise important philosophical problems, which were going to be discussed in detail by Plato, Aristotle, and many other philosophers.
  • 470 BCE

    Ancient Greek Ethics: Socrates 470 BCE-399 BCE

    Ancient Greek Ethics: Socrates 470 BCE-399 BCE
    Socrates was a widely recognized and controversial figure in his native Athens, so much so that he was frequently mocked in the plays of comic dramatists. (The Clouds of Aristophanes, produced in 423, is the best-known example.) Although Socrates himself wrote nothing, he is depicted in conversation in compositions by a small circle of his admirers—Plato and Xenophon first among them. He is portrayed in these works as a man of great insight, integrity, self-mastery, and argumentative skill.
  • 428 BCE

    Ancient Greek Ethics: Plato 428 BCE- 348 BCE

    Ancient Greek Ethics: Plato 428 BCE- 348 BCE
    Plato introduced the idea that their mistakes were due to their not engaging properly with a class of entities he called forms, chief examples of which were Justice, Beauty, and Equality. Whereas other thinkers—and Plato himself in certain passages—used the term without any precise technical force, Plato in the course of his career came to devote specialized attention to these entities. As he conceived them, they were accessible not to the senses but to the mind alone.
  • 384 BCE

    Ancient Greek Ethics: Aristotle 384 BCE- 322 BCE

    Ancient Greek Ethics: Aristotle 384 BCE- 322 BCE
    Aristotle studied developing organisms, among other things, in ancient Greece, and his writings shaped Western philosophy and natural science for greater than two thousand years.Less than fifty of Aristotle's treatises persisted into the twenty-first century. In natural philosophy, later called natural science, Aristotle established methods for investigation and reasoning and provided a theory on how embryos generate and develop.
  • 354 BCE

    Medieval Ethics: Church Fathers

    Medieval Ethics: Church Fathers
    Starting with the early church fathers, Christian thinkers took differing views of the proper relationship between their moral system and that of the pagan philosophers of antiquity. On the one hand, St. Ambrose (c. 340–397), in De officiis ministrorum (On the duties of the ministry), was prepared to adapt the Stoic-inspired account of virtue set out in Cicero's (106–43 B.C.E.) De officiis (On duties) to the needs of Christians seeking eternal bliss in the afterlife.
  • 307 BCE

    Later Greek Ethics: Epicureanism

    Later Greek Ethics: Epicureanism
    In principle, Epicurus’s ethic of pleasure is the exact opposite of the Stoic’s ethic of duty. The consequences, however, are the same: in the end, the Epicurean is forced to live with the same temperance and justice as the Stoic. however, is one point of divergence: the walls of the Stoic’s city are those of the world, and its law is that of reason; the limits of the Epicurean’s city are those of a garden, and the law is that of friendship.
  • 300 BCE

    Later Greek Ethics: Stoicism

    Later Greek Ethics: Stoicism
    Knowledge and its pursuit are no longer held to be ends in themselves. The Hellenistic Age was a time of transition, and the Stoic philosopher was perhaps its most influential representative. A new culture was in the making. The heritage of an earlier period, with Athens as its intellectual leader, was to continue, but to undergo many changes.
  • 1224

    Scholasticism: Aquinas (1224-1274)

    Scholasticism: Aquinas (1224-1274)
    It is probable that Thomas became a master in arts at Naples before entering the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) in 1244. He studied in the Dominican courses in philosophy and theology, first at Paris and, from 1248 on, under Albert the Great at Cologne. In 1252 he was sent to the University of Paris for advanced study in theology; he lectured there as a bachelor in theology until 1256, when he was awarded the magistrate (doctorate) in theology.
  • 1287

    Scholasticism: Scotus (1265-1308) and Ockham (1287-1347)

    Scholasticism: Scotus (1265-1308) and Ockham (1287-1347)
    Duns Scotus was one of the most important thinkers of the entire scholastic period. Of Scottish origin, he was a member of the Franciscan order and undertook theological studies first at Oxford and later at Paris. He left behind a considerable body of work, much of which unfortunately was still undergoing revision at the time of his death.
  • Modern Ethics

    Modern Ethics
    These laws are for the benefit of everyone whether they know it or not. By contrast, modern natural law affirms the right of individual human beings to determine their own purposes. He argued that natural law does not depend on God’s existence but on rational human nature and that it is the function of political society to protect the natural rights of human beings—rights every person has independently of any contribution he or she makes to the community.
  • Thomas Hobbes

    Thomas Hobbes
    Thomas Hobbes provoked widespread reaction when he argued in his masterpiece, Leviathan (1651), that there is no ultimate or objective good. Good and evil are naturally relative to people’s appetites so that they comes to regard what they are inclined to pursue as good and what they are inclined to avoid as bad. Good and bad are relative to individuals’ desires and preferences: there is no such thing as objective goodness.