more from Carneades

Single Idea 7398

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / B. Value / 2. Values / i. Self-interest]

Full Idea

Carneades argued forcefully that in the event of a shipwreck, the wise man would be prepared to seize the only plank capable of bearing him to shore, even if that meant pushing another person off it.

Gist of Idea

Carneades said that after a shipwreck a wise man would seize the only plank by force


report of Carneades (fragments/reports [c.174 BCE]) by Richard Tuck - Hobbes Ch.1

Book Reference

Tuck,Richard: 'Hobbes: a very short introduction' [OUP 2002], p.10

A Reaction

[source for this?] This thought seems to have provoked great discussion in the sixteenth century (mostly sympathetic). I can't help thinking the right answer depends on assessing your rival. Die for a hero, drown a nasty fool.