Moral Values

Moral Values

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Nicolai Hartmann (1882-1950), along with Henri Bergson and Martin Heidegger, was instrumental in restoring metaphysics to the study of philosophy. Unlike his contemporaries, however, Hartmann was clearly influenced by Plato. His tour-de-force, Ethik, published in English in 1932 as Ethics, may be the most outstanding work on moral philosophy produced in the twentieth century.

In the first part of Ethics (Moral Phenomena), Hartmann was concerned with the structure of ethical phenomena, and criticized utilitarianism, Kantianism, and relativism as misleading approaches. In the second part, Moral Values, the author describes all values as forming a complex and as yet imperfectly known system. The actualization of the non-moral and elementary moral values is a necessary condition for the actualization of the higher values. It is on this account that rudimentary values have a prior claim.

Hartmann outlines the main features of the chief virtues, and shows that the moral disposition required in any exigency is always a specific synthesis of various and often conflicting values. Specifically describing fundamental moral values-such as goodness, nobility, and vitality-and special moral values-such as justice, wisdom, courage, self-control, trustworthiness, and modesty-Hartmann takes theoretical philosophy and brings it very much into the realm of the practical.

A compelling and insightful volume, Moral Values remains an essential contribution to the moral and ethical literature of the twentieth century. Hartmann offers a self-contained system of ethics that yet offers a conservative outlook on social life.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 535 pages
  • 155.4 x 232.7 x 34.5mm | 821.02g
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0765809621
  • 9780765809629
  • 1,587,947

Review quote

On Nicolai Hartmann's Ethics

-This is a remarkable and perhaps an epoch-making book. . . . Certainly Professor Hartmann has brought into the philosophy of morality and into purely ethical theory a refreshing vitality and acuteness. . . . So valuable a contribution to ethics has not been made for many years, and it gives promise of more to come. . . . It is a genuine contribution of new knowledge.-

--C. Delisle Burns, International Journal of Ethics

-In this work Professor Hartmann has covered the ethical field from end to end in a luminous survey which never loses its unity, its proportion, or its philosophic depth. . . . I agree so profoundly with his method and his main ethical conceptions, and I am so grateful for the strength and clarity of his exposition, that I can only end by thanking him for what he has done.-

--J. L. Stocks, Philosophy On Nicolai Hartmann's Ethics

"This is a remarkable and perhaps an epoch-making book. . . . Certainly Professor Hartmann has brought into the philosophy of morality and into purely ethical theory a refreshing vitality and acuteness. . . . So valuable a contribution to ethics has not been made for many years, and it gives promise of more to come. . . . It is a genuine contribution of new knowledge."

--C. Delisle Burns, International Journal of Ethics

"In this work Professor Hartmann has covered the ethical field from end to end in a luminous survey which never loses its unity, its proportion, or its philosophic depth. . . . I agree so profoundly with his method and his main ethical conceptions, and I am so grateful for the strength and clarity of his exposition, that I can only end by thanking him for what he has done."

--J. L. Stocks, Philosophy On Nicolai Hartmann's Ethics

"This is a remarkable and perhaps an epoch-making book. . . . Certainly Professor Hartmann has brought into the philosophy of morality and into purely ethical theory a refreshing vitality and acuteness. . . . So valuable a contribution to ethics has not been made for many years, and it gives promise of more to come. . . . It is a genuine contribution of new knowledge."

--C. Delisle Burns, International Journal of Ethics

"In this work Professor Hartmann has covered the ethical field from end to end in a luminous survey which never loses its unity, its proportion, or its philosophic depth. . . . I agree so profoundly with his method and his main ethical conceptions, and I am so grateful for the strength and clarity of his exposition, that I can only end by thanking him for what he has done."

--J. L. Stocks, Philosophy
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About Nicolai Hartmann

Nicolai Hartmann was born in 1882 in Riga, Latvia, of German parents. He studied philosophy and classics, first in St. Petersburg and later in Marburg, where he was appointed to a chair of philosophy in 1920. In 1931, after a short spell at the University of Cologne, Hartmann was offered the prestigious chair of philosophy by the University of Berlin, where he lectured until the end of the war, untainted by Nazism. From 1945 until his death in 1950 he held a chair of philosophy at the University of Gottingen. Andreas A.M. Kinneging is associate professor in legal philosophy at the University of Leiden, and author of several works in normative theory and intellectual history, including Aristocracy, Antiquity, and History: Classicism in Political Thought, published by Transaction.
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