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Contemporary Capitalist Little
Simone de Beauvoir is obviously trying to address the weakest point of Sartre's philosophical exposition of existentialism -- what sort of value system arises from the existential outlook? De Beauvoir wants to show how existential assumptions actually do lead to an ethics of a non-classical sort. In speaking of the freedom of men from the deterministic bounds of society, religion, or the material world de Beauvoir states: "[I]t appears to us that by turning toward this freedom we are going to discover a principle of action whose range will be universal (23)." This seems to be an important point as it addresses directly the accusation that the very "existential freedom" of man is a destructive and horrific isolation of each individual into self-justifying random action. Later de Beauvoir states that it is actually freedom itself which is this universal. "At the same time that [freedom] requires the realization of concrete ends, of particular projects, it requires itself universally (24)." She then continues to set up an equality between being free and being moral. Even considering the starting point of ambiguity, how can freedom in terms of consciousness become the basis for any morality? So whatever you do is moral as long as you choose to do it?
How (it may be asked) can any part of the conduct of a member of society be a matter of indifference to the other members? No person is an entirely isolated being; it is impossible for a person to do anything seriously or permanently hurtful to himself, without mischief reaching at least to his near connections, and often far beyond them. (Mill 74)
04/08/2006 0 Comments | Add Comment
 
 
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Dominic
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Locke's concept of the social contract is much more palitable than Hobbes' was. Locke not only delineates the nature and cause of the social contract, but he rationalizes his reasoning better. Locke's concept of a proper government and the relationship between the government and the people is also more consistent with a social contract theory than Hobbes was. While Hobbes' monarchy would work assuming the absolute goodness and reliability of the king, Locke allows for the shortcomings of human beings
 
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