Moraali, metafysiikka ja hyvä elämä modernissa etiikassa

Morality, metaphysics and the good life in modern ethics

Based on the theories of the Enlightenment, modern ethics aims at finding a universal basis for moral and political norms. This aim has been questioned in recent discussion. According to the critics, it should be emphasised that ethics is contextual, historical, and culturally bound, and should also include ideas concerning the meaning and goals of people's own life. John Rawls' and Thomas Bridge's theories of so-called political morality are examples of such a new approach to ethics. The approach, however, is not without problems. In their effort to justify moral and political norms on the basis of communal values, Rawls and Bridges, for example are forced to refer to some general assumptions which remain out of context and culture. It appears that ethics cannot but refer to some general statements concerning man or the world 'as such'; otherwise, it seems to remain unjustified. As a matter of fact, modern ethics – if properly understood – continues to offer the best approach to questions of morality.

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