PHI-112, Summer 2013 The Good Life, Late-Modern vs. Post-Modern
Hart, M. J. June 16, 2013
Most of the late-modern philosophers took a completely different view of ethics and a moral society as their predecessors. Aside from Kierkegaard’s deeply religious views, their ideas were to get away from religion being necessary to achieve a good life. The emphasis was one in which people should not think in order to be ethical one must be religious. This seemed as if they were all of a sudden coming out and saying the earlier philosophers were wrong in tying ethics and religion. The post-modern philosophers pursued this line of thinking further, going back to the basics from the beginning of recorded history and evaluating just how moral beliefs evolved. By trying to understand why religious ideas and living the good life became so intertwined in early philosophers’ psyche, the post-modern philosophers do have a better understanding of the good life as opposed to the late-modern philosophers, who were still working through some of the fallacies which have developed over the centuries, with the 20th century philosophers embracing a friendly debate of opposing ideas.
Because religion was felt so necessary centuries ago, the natural course of progression to an understanding that one could be ethical and moral regardless of religious beliefs, we had to go through the religious denial stage of the 19th century, which seemed to be the overarching theme of the times. Post-modernist G.E. Moore’s example given of the good life as, “…sharing witty and intelligent conversation with your best friends,” (Story of Ethics, Clark & Poortenga, chapter 5, pg 107) offers an excellent example of a friendly debate among philosophers who enjoy sharing differences of opinion. Certainly his thoughts on “good as ends,” versus “good as means”...