more from G.E.M. Anscombe

Single Idea 8069

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 1. Deontology]

Full Idea

Between Aristotle and us came Christianity, with its law conception of ethics, and Christianity derived its ethical notions from the Torah.

Gist of Idea

Between Aristotle and us, a Judaeo-Christian legal conception of ethics was developed


G.E.M. Anscombe (Modern Moral Philosophy [1958], p.179)

Book Reference

'The Is/Ought Question', ed/tr. Hudson,W.H. [Macmillan 1969], p.179

A Reaction

While I am a fan of the primacy of the virtues in ethical thinking, I am doubtful about the complete elimination of laws (e.g. by Particularists). The law teaches us the virtues, and reminds us of them (like speed-limit signs).