Saturday, September 22, 2012

Does Aristotle matter?

An observation: The 'Draft of December 4 2008' version of Derek Parfit's recent magnum opus, On What Matters, contains all of four mentions of Aristotle in its many hundreds of pages.  Any words beginning with "euda" appear all of once.  The rest of the treatise is focused on (the?) three major ethical theories: Kantianism, contractualism, and consequentialism.  Parfit's project is to provide a synthesis of these theories, with Parfit "using the metaphor of the theories as 'climbing the same mountain on different sides.'" (wikipedia)

I suppose Aristotle and eudaimonia don't matter much?


(Have I been barking up the wrong, er, uh, mountain all this time?  Here I was, thinking that it was Aristotelianism, with its own highly assimilationist character - the most important things assimilated being concretes in everyday practical reality, not so much abstract theories - that provided a most satisfactory dialectical resolution of the other theories in addition to being essentially correct in its own right.  Well, shit.  Parfit 1, UP 0?)