Chapter

The Goodness of Searching

Amelie Oksenberg Rorty

in In Search of Goodness

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780226306834
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226306858 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226306858.003.0009
The Goodness of Searching

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This chapter, which argues that there is no such thing as goodness per se, analyzes Plato's multiple arguments for the primacy of the Idea of the Good and exposes the problems raised by his discussion. It then turns to Aristotle, Epicurus, and Epictetus, who reject the Platonic account of the Good in favor of the view that goodness is to be found in the particulars and the details. Aristotle notoriously denied that there is a Good at which all things aim. Like Epicurus, Epictetus accepted the Socratic dictum that death is not to be feared, but his reasons have a rationalist rather than an empiricist basis. While agreeing that the good for man basically involves rational inquiry, Stoics hold that the good of inquiry lies in realizing that living according to nature means learning man's place within nature.

Keywords: goodness; Plato; Aristotle; Epicurus; Epictetus; Idea of Good

Chapter.  7462 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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