The Virtue Ethics of Hume and Nietzsche
New Directions in Ethics 1. Aufl.
This ground-breaking and lucid contribution to the vibrant field of virtue ethics focuses on the influential work of Hume and Nietzsche, providing fresh perspectives on their philosophies and a compelling account of their impact on the development of virtue ethics. A ground-breaking text that moves the field of virtue ethics beyond ancient moral theorists and examines the highly influential ethical work of Hume and Nietzsche from a virtue ethics perspective Contributes both to virtue ethics and a refreshed understanding of Hume’s and Nietzsche’s ethics Skilfully bridges the gap between continental and analytical philosophy Lucidly written and clearly organized, allowing students to focus on either Hume or Nietzsche Written by one of the most important figures contributing to virtue ethics today
Preface ix Introduction xi Part I: A Virtue Ethical Map 1 Chapter 1 Interpretation as a Map 3 Chapter 2 Hume and Nietzsche as Response Dependence Virtue Ethicists 19 Part II: The Virtue Ethics of Hume 43 Chapter 3 Can Hume Be Both a Sentimentalist and a Virtue Ethicist? 45 Chapter 4 Hume and the Problem of Justice as a Virtue 70 Chapter 5 What Kind of Virtue Ethicist Is Hume? 87 Part III: The Virtue Ethics of Nietzsche 109 Chapter 6 Can Nietzsche Be Both a Virtue Ethicist and an Egoist? 111 Chapter 7 Can Nietzsche Be Both a Virtue Ethicist and an Existentialist? 135 Chapter 8 What Kind of Virtue Ethicist Is Nietzsche? 157 Part IV: New Directions 179 Chapter 9 Humean Virtue Ethics: Virtue Ethics of Love 181 Chapter 10 Nietzschean Virtue Ethics: Virtue Ethics of Becoming 195 Bibliography 212 Index 222
Christine Swanton is a philosopher in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Auckland. She is the author of Virtue Ethics: A Pluralist View (2005), Freedom: A Coherence Theory (1992), and has contributed numerous articles to journals and reference works. She is regarded as one of the leading academic figures currently working within the field of virtue ethics.
Although contemporary development of virtue ethics has focused on Aristotle, other great thinkers in ethics – notably Hume and Nietzsche – also placed virtue at the center of their ethical theorizing. Moving away from ancient moral theorists, and subjectivist interpretations of Hume’s and Nietzsche’s thought that have reduced their impact in normative ethics, Swanton provides a fresh perspective on the ethics of both philosophers. Discussion of the moral philosophies of Hume and Nietzsche in turn leads Swanton to seek alternative versions of virtue ethics, particularly areas that have been neglected in the mainstream Aristotelian tradition. Swanton’s aim is not to argue for a virtue ethics inspired by either Nietzsche or Hume, as opposed to one inspired by Aristotle. Rather, she explores other options for virtue ethics by interpreting Hume and Nietzsche as virtue ethicists and by suggesting possibilities for virtue ethics inspired by those thinkers. Written lucidly and structured to allow readers to focus on either Hume or Nietzsche, Swanton’s systematic and detailed exploration of the work of these two philosophers provides an extremely valuable contribution to the development of the field of virtue ethics, and encourages us to take seriously Nietzsche and Hume as substantive moral philosophers in an objectivist tradition.
“Christine Swanton’s careful reading of Hume and Nietzsche as virtueethicists is both original and compelling. This foundational work significantlyadvances scholarship in virtue ethics, paving the way for a viable alternativeto Aristotelianism.”Liezl van Zyl, University of Waikato “In this book, Christine Swanton continues to expand our conception of virtueethics. She combines her characteristic precision with textual attentiveness tointerpret both Hume and Nietzsche as response dependence theorists. The resultis bold and refreshing as she showcases the enduring legacies of both philosophersand their relevance for recent developments in philosophical ethics.”Jacqueline Taylor, University of California, San Francisco
“Christine Swanton's careful reading of Hume and Nietzsche as virtue ethicists is both original and compelling. This foundational work significantly advances scholarship in virtue ethics, paving the way for a viable alternative to Aristotelianism.” Liezl van Zyl, University of Waikato “In this book, Christine Swanton continues to expand our conception of virtue ethics. She combines her characteristic precision with textual attentiveness to interpret both Hume and Nietzsche as response dependence theorists. The result is bold and refreshing as she showcases the enduring legacies of both philosophers and their relevance for recent developments in philosophical ethics. Readers will find particularly exciting her reconstruction of Hume as centrally concerned with our capacities for empathy, love and compassion to sustain and strengthen our bonds with one another.” Jacqueline Taylor, University of San Francisco