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11/05/2017 6:56 pm  #1

Scholastic Meta-ethics

Sorry if this is a bit messy. This is sort of a copy/paste mess from another board, where I didn't get any illuminating answers 

Could anyone either explain to me or link me (or both) some material that explains scholastic meta-ethics?Why is it correct or necessary to predicate goodness and perfections of existent things?This, for example, seems like a logically consistent thing to say, "I believe in a purely actual actualizer but I deny that it is good or perfect because I accept moral anti-realism in addition to the act/potency distinction". But wouldn't this be a confused statement within the scholastic picture?My question arises from reading Feser's Aristotelian argument, when i got to these premises:

"28. If the purely actual actualizer were imperfect in any way, it
would have some unactualized potential, which, being purely actual, it does not have.
29. So, the purely actual actualizer is perfect.
30. For something to be less than fully good is for it to have a
privation— that is, to fail to actualize some feature proper to it.
31. A purely actual actualizer, being purely actual, can have no such privation.
32. So, the purely actual actualizer is fully good.

 It seems like the primary categories of scholastic metaphysics: act/potency, final causation, matter/form, essence/existence don't of themselves entail anything essentially axiological. For example, as I understand it, teleology in the scholastic picture is taken to be immanent finality, where a substance as a cause is intrinsically directed toward its manifestations (this is what makes intelligible why a cause brings about the effect it does, rather than any other), but this by itself does not seem to necessitate that we predicate 'goodness' to its ends. 

Is goodness merely just Being understood in a particular way (under the guise of desirability for a thing, given its nature), where there really is no such irreducible category as 'goodness'? 

If so, this seems like a really deflationary account which might undermine what it means to predicate goodness of God

Also, I'm confused about the possible normative force that perfections might place on us. As premise 28 implies, an imperfection is just an unactualized potential, so a perfection must be an actualized potential. How does one distinguish the mundane potential I could actualize (such as walking) from something more important like (helping another person in need)?


Last edited by Indeterminate (11/05/2017 9:09 pm)


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