The Challenge of Social Ethics: A Treatise on Modernity and Negation

Øjvind Larsen

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Modern global society has seen dramatic changes that throw us into impenetrable ethical problems of a kind never before witnessed in history. By this means, ethical problems constitute the locus of our confrontation with our own life situation. It is this condition that I take to be of fundamental importance when one undertakes to reflect upon the meaning of ethics today. If we approach the issue from the point of view of the history of ideas, we find that throughout the whole of the history of philosophy there have been a series of different attempts to articulate an ethics. Most of them address our concerns about how a human being ought to act in order to realise his or her life in the best or most correct way. I will return to the array of suggestions that have been offered in this regard. What is important for my purposes, meanwhile, is that there is something that precedes ethical considerations, namely, the fact that ethics imposes itself upon the individual as a vital problem, and as one that cannot be escaped.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
PublisherDepartment of Management, Politics and Philosophy, CBS
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)8791181895
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005
SeriesMPP Working Paper

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