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The elementary forces in ethics are probably as plural as those of physics are.
It is the glorious liberty of the sons of God to inform all, to quicken all, to cherish all, to enrich all, under the immediate eye of the great and good Giver of all.
Hitler had values; Marx had core values; the Taleban have family values; lunatic asylums overflow with people with beliefs; Stalin was a stickler for standards; Robespierre did not lack ideals; Pol Pot had vision; Chairman Mao had a mission; Sir Oswald Mosley cannot be accused of lacking a sense of duty.
This brought me up short, because Hegel, in his lectures on aesthetics (translated by T. Knox as , Oxford, 1975), speaks of ‘the collision of equally justified powers and individuals’ and gives the following as an example: ‘Agamemnon, as King and commander of the army, sacrifices his daughter in the interest of the Greeks and the Trojan expedition; thereby he snaps the bond of love for his daughter and his wife’ (1213). Schneewind (London, 1969: Routledge; New York, 1969: Humanities Press) question.
In all but name, this sounds very much like an explicitly pluralist conflict of values to me. 32: 29–30 in the edition by Oskar Kraus and Roderick M. Here we are, in a world where the existence of a divine Thinker has been and perhaps always will be doubted by some of the lookers on, and where, in spite of the presence of a large number of ideals, in which human beings agree, there are a mass of others about which no general consensus obtains.
It is hardly necessary to present a literary picture of this, for the facts are too well known.
There is really no more ground for supposing that all our demands can be accounted for by one universal underlying kind of motive than there is ground for supposing that all physical phenomena are cases of a single law.
The more this principle, laid down by Montesquieu, is considered, the more its truth is felt; the more it is combated, the more chance is given to confirm it by new proofs.
Subjects prize public tranquillity; citizens the freedom of the individual – the former prefer security of possessions, the latter security of person; subjects think the best government is the most severe, citizens that it is the mildest; the former want crimes to be punished, the latter want them prevented; subjects think it is a good thing to be feared by their neighbours, citizens prefer to be ignored by them; the former are satisfied so long as money circulates, the latter demand that the people shall have bread.
They replied they would not do it for any money in the world.
Later, in the presence of the Greeks, and through an interpreter, so that they could understand that was said, he asked some Indians, of the tribe called Callatiae, who do in fact eat their parents’ dead bodies, what they would take to burn them (as was the custom of the Greeks).