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Strategies of ArgumentEssays in Ancient Ethics, Epistemology, and Logic$
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Mi-Kyoung Lee

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199890477

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199890477.001.0001

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Why There Are Ends of Both Goods and Evils in Ancient Ethical Theory

Why There Are Ends of Both Goods and Evils in Ancient Ethical Theory

Chapter:
(p.231) 10 Why There Are Ends of Both Goods and Evils in Ancient Ethical Theory
Source:
Strategies of Argument
Author(s):

James Allen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199890477.003.0010

This chapter adds a new twist to the ancient Greek question about what the ultimate human end is: it asks why Cicero presents ancient ethical theories (e.g., those of Aristotle, the Stoics, and the Epicureans) in answer to the question ‘What are the ends of goods and evils?’ For if an end (telos) is something for the sake of which we should do things, then bad and evil things should not have ends at all. The chapter argues that ‘end’ here has the earlier senses of (i) a result, and (ii) a criterion. A theory of the ends of goods and evils will thus allow one to judge which things are ends by means of a criterion, namely, by the ends in the sense of results that typically follow for things of that kind.

Keywords:   Cicero, Ancient Greek ethics, Stoics, Epicureans, Aristotle, Plato, criterion, end, human end, good and evil

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