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A Weberian approach to the history of ethics: Aquinas and Kant

D'Avray, D; (2018) A Weberian approach to the history of ethics: Aquinas and Kant. History of European Ideas , 44 (8) pp. 1003-1018. 10.1080/01916599.2018.1466183. Green open access

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Abstract

A distinction between hard-to-shake but rational convictions, on the one hand, and the rationality that calculates causal and logical consequences, on the other hand, can generate questions for the history of ethics. Most moral thinkers draw some such distinction but the contours of the line differ greatly, and, in drawing the line, past moral thinkers tend to be influenced by their own deeply held principles, which in turn tend to reflect their social world. Questions about where the line between values and instrumental calculation are drawn and about the effect on this of the moral thinkers own social world are applied by way of illustration to Thomas Aquinas and Kant. The paper attempts to use Weberian social theory to elucidate a theme in the history of ethics, making every effort to keep the two kinds of theory distinct.

Type: Article
Title: A Weberian approach to the history of ethics: Aquinas and Kant
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/01916599.2018.1466183
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/01916599.2018.1466183
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Values, Weber, Rationality, Kant, Aquinas
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069391
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