CheckPoint: Traditional versus Modern Ethics Response
Modern ethics is said to have begun with G.E. Moore (1873 –1958). The focal point for G.E. Moore was “to conduct a general inquiry into what is good.” (Moore & Bruder, 2005) When Aristotle and Plato were building the foundations of traditional ethics the purpose was slightly different, but also very similar. Aristotle based his philosophical theory on his belief that human beings are here to promote the good life for humans. He was concerned with promoting the good life and endorsed the idea of people seeking happiness for themselves. G.E. Moore was primarily concerned with finding out what things or actions in the world can truly be called good. So while the traditional ethics of Aristotle and Plato was an influence on the modern ethics because of the interest that both have in goodness and what it is to be good. Many modern philosophers study the traditional philosopher’s theories and base their theories on disputing or trying to prove those theories were correct or have some type of lasting value. Another example of the modern philosophers seeking good in all things is in the theories of another philosopher, W.D. Ross. Ross had a desire “to examine the nature, relations, and implications of three conceptions which appear to be fundamental in ethics—those of ‘right,’ ‘good’ in general, and ‘morally good.’” (Moore & Bruder, 2005)
Moore, B. N., & Bruder, K. (2005). Recent Moral and Political Philosophy. In B. Moore, & K. Bruder, Philosophy: The Power of Ideas (pp. 357-391). Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.