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The moral and historical works of lord bacon: including his essays, apophthegms, wisdom of the ancien - Meta:Historical/Ethics vs. Morals - Meta



Conversation is an unavoidably personal way to educate others about history.  That connection leads to serious questions about how we relay the facts about the past.  Outside of the lengthy space of articles and books, we are forced to condense our thoughts and sometimes deal with complicated issues in simple ways.  The most problematic are the historical events that reflect on the terrible nature of humankind – the wars, atrocities, the cruelty of one human being towards another. How do we discuss these issues in conversation?  Or, how do we as historians deal with morality, let alone convey it to others?  Is it our place to judge the past?

Clio's Current explores contemporary issues with historical perspectives.  This blog asks questions of the present using answers from the past. It is written by two historians located in Canada .  

There does not seem to be much reason to think that a single definition of morality will be applicable to all moral discussions. One reason for this is that “morality” seems to be used in two distinct broad senses: a descriptive sense and a normative sense. More particularly, the term “morality” can be used either

Any definition of “morality” in the descriptive sense will need to specify which of the codes put forward by a society or group count as moral. Even in small homogeneous societies that have no written language, distinctions are sometimes made between morality, etiquette, law, and religion. And in larger and more complex societies these distinctions are often sharply marked. So “morality” cannot be taken to refer to every code of conduct put forward by a society.

In the normative sense, “morality” refers to a code of conduct that would be accepted by anyone who meets certain intellectual and volitional conditions, almost always including the condition of being rational. That a person meets these conditions is typically expressed by saying that the person counts as a moral agent . However, merely showing that a certain code would be accepted by any moral agent is not enough to show that the code is the moral code. It might well be that all moral agents would also accept a code of prudence or rationality, but this would not by itself show that prudence was part of morality.

Since Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah , cinematographic representations of the extermination of the European Jews have seemed impossible. Son of Saul has challenged this assumption. Nonetheless, the aesthetic and narrative choices this film makes are problematic.

Although we well know the extent to which the history of French cinema actively feeds off consecrations, anathemas and conclusive judgements, we need to revisit this film today, at a distance from its coronation. We need to consider what it shows and tells us: a tragic tale, imbued with ancient and biblical references on the one hand, and on the other, a historical film that maybe does not circumvent all the pitfalls specific to the genre.

László Nemes has invented something. And he was clever enough not to try to show the Holocaust. He knew he could not and should not. This is not a film on the Holocaust, but on what life as a Sonderkommando was like [...] What I always wanted to say when I said it was impossible to show the Shoah, is that the idea of showing death in the gas chambers is unimaginable. This is not what we see here. The director looks at the special units that had to do the terrible job of forcing other Jews to get undressed, leave their clothes behind and enter the gas chambers.  [ 3 ]

Conversation is an unavoidably personal way to educate others about history.  That connection leads to serious questions about how we relay the facts about the past.  Outside of the lengthy space of articles and books, we are forced to condense our thoughts and sometimes deal with complicated issues in simple ways.  The most problematic are the historical events that reflect on the terrible nature of humankind – the wars, atrocities, the cruelty of one human being towards another. How do we discuss these issues in conversation?  Or, how do we as historians deal with morality, let alone convey it to others?  Is it our place to judge the past?

Clio's Current explores contemporary issues with historical perspectives.  This blog asks questions of the present using answers from the past. It is written by two historians located in Canada .  

There does not seem to be much reason to think that a single definition of morality will be applicable to all moral discussions. One reason for this is that “morality” seems to be used in two distinct broad senses: a descriptive sense and a normative sense. More particularly, the term “morality” can be used either

Any definition of “morality” in the descriptive sense will need to specify which of the codes put forward by a society or group count as moral. Even in small homogeneous societies that have no written language, distinctions are sometimes made between morality, etiquette, law, and religion. And in larger and more complex societies these distinctions are often sharply marked. So “morality” cannot be taken to refer to every code of conduct put forward by a society.

In the normative sense, “morality” refers to a code of conduct that would be accepted by anyone who meets certain intellectual and volitional conditions, almost always including the condition of being rational. That a person meets these conditions is typically expressed by saying that the person counts as a moral agent . However, merely showing that a certain code would be accepted by any moral agent is not enough to show that the code is the moral code. It might well be that all moral agents would also accept a code of prudence or rationality, but this would not by itself show that prudence was part of morality.

Since Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah , cinematographic representations of the extermination of the European Jews have seemed impossible. Son of Saul has challenged this assumption. Nonetheless, the aesthetic and narrative choices this film makes are problematic.

Although we well know the extent to which the history of French cinema actively feeds off consecrations, anathemas and conclusive judgements, we need to revisit this film today, at a distance from its coronation. We need to consider what it shows and tells us: a tragic tale, imbued with ancient and biblical references on the one hand, and on the other, a historical film that maybe does not circumvent all the pitfalls specific to the genre.

László Nemes has invented something. And he was clever enough not to try to show the Holocaust. He knew he could not and should not. This is not a film on the Holocaust, but on what life as a Sonderkommando was like [...] What I always wanted to say when I said it was impossible to show the Shoah, is that the idea of showing death in the gas chambers is unimaginable. This is not what we see here. The director looks at the special units that had to do the terrible job of forcing other Jews to get undressed, leave their clothes behind and enter the gas chambers.  [ 3 ]

Only a handful of educational theorists hold the view that if only the adult world would get out of the way, children would ripen into fully realized people. Most thinkers, educational practitioners, and parents acknowledge that children are born helpless and need the care and guidance of adults into their teens and often beyond. More specifically, children need to learn how to live harmoniously in society. Historically, the mission of schools has been to develop in the young both the intellectual and the moral virtues. Concern for the moral virtues, such as honesty, responsibility, and respect for others, is the domain of moral education.

Moral education, then, refers to helping children acquire those virtues or moral habits that will help them individually live good lives and at the same time become productive, contributing members of their communities. In this view, moral education should contribute not only to the students as individuals, but also to the social cohesion of a community. The word moral comes from a Latin root ( mos, moris ) and means the code or customs of a people, the social glue that defines how individuals should live together.

During the last quarter of the twentieth century, as many schools attempted to ignore the moral dimension of schooling, three things happened: Achievement scores began to decline, discipline and behavior problems increased, and voices were raised accusing the schools of teaching secular humanism. As the same time, educators were encouraged to address the moral concerns of students using two approaches: values clarification and cognitive developmental moral education.

Conversation is an unavoidably personal way to educate others about history.  That connection leads to serious questions about how we relay the facts about the past.  Outside of the lengthy space of articles and books, we are forced to condense our thoughts and sometimes deal with complicated issues in simple ways.  The most problematic are the historical events that reflect on the terrible nature of humankind – the wars, atrocities, the cruelty of one human being towards another. How do we discuss these issues in conversation?  Or, how do we as historians deal with morality, let alone convey it to others?  Is it our place to judge the past?

Clio's Current explores contemporary issues with historical perspectives.  This blog asks questions of the present using answers from the past. It is written by two historians located in Canada .  

Conversation is an unavoidably personal way to educate others about history.  That connection leads to serious questions about how we relay the facts about the past.  Outside of the lengthy space of articles and books, we are forced to condense our thoughts and sometimes deal with complicated issues in simple ways.  The most problematic are the historical events that reflect on the terrible nature of humankind – the wars, atrocities, the cruelty of one human being towards another. How do we discuss these issues in conversation?  Or, how do we as historians deal with morality, let alone convey it to others?  Is it our place to judge the past?

Clio's Current explores contemporary issues with historical perspectives.  This blog asks questions of the present using answers from the past. It is written by two historians located in Canada .  

There does not seem to be much reason to think that a single definition of morality will be applicable to all moral discussions. One reason for this is that “morality” seems to be used in two distinct broad senses: a descriptive sense and a normative sense. More particularly, the term “morality” can be used either

Any definition of “morality” in the descriptive sense will need to specify which of the codes put forward by a society or group count as moral. Even in small homogeneous societies that have no written language, distinctions are sometimes made between morality, etiquette, law, and religion. And in larger and more complex societies these distinctions are often sharply marked. So “morality” cannot be taken to refer to every code of conduct put forward by a society.

In the normative sense, “morality” refers to a code of conduct that would be accepted by anyone who meets certain intellectual and volitional conditions, almost always including the condition of being rational. That a person meets these conditions is typically expressed by saying that the person counts as a moral agent . However, merely showing that a certain code would be accepted by any moral agent is not enough to show that the code is the moral code. It might well be that all moral agents would also accept a code of prudence or rationality, but this would not by itself show that prudence was part of morality.

Conversation is an unavoidably personal way to educate others about history.  That connection leads to serious questions about how we relay the facts about the past.  Outside of the lengthy space of articles and books, we are forced to condense our thoughts and sometimes deal with complicated issues in simple ways.  The most problematic are the historical events that reflect on the terrible nature of humankind – the wars, atrocities, the cruelty of one human being towards another. How do we discuss these issues in conversation?  Or, how do we as historians deal with morality, let alone convey it to others?  Is it our place to judge the past?

Clio's Current explores contemporary issues with historical perspectives.  This blog asks questions of the present using answers from the past. It is written by two historians located in Canada .  

There does not seem to be much reason to think that a single definition of morality will be applicable to all moral discussions. One reason for this is that “morality” seems to be used in two distinct broad senses: a descriptive sense and a normative sense. More particularly, the term “morality” can be used either

Any definition of “morality” in the descriptive sense will need to specify which of the codes put forward by a society or group count as moral. Even in small homogeneous societies that have no written language, distinctions are sometimes made between morality, etiquette, law, and religion. And in larger and more complex societies these distinctions are often sharply marked. So “morality” cannot be taken to refer to every code of conduct put forward by a society.

In the normative sense, “morality” refers to a code of conduct that would be accepted by anyone who meets certain intellectual and volitional conditions, almost always including the condition of being rational. That a person meets these conditions is typically expressed by saying that the person counts as a moral agent . However, merely showing that a certain code would be accepted by any moral agent is not enough to show that the code is the moral code. It might well be that all moral agents would also accept a code of prudence or rationality, but this would not by itself show that prudence was part of morality.

Since Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah , cinematographic representations of the extermination of the European Jews have seemed impossible. Son of Saul has challenged this assumption. Nonetheless, the aesthetic and narrative choices this film makes are problematic.

Although we well know the extent to which the history of French cinema actively feeds off consecrations, anathemas and conclusive judgements, we need to revisit this film today, at a distance from its coronation. We need to consider what it shows and tells us: a tragic tale, imbued with ancient and biblical references on the one hand, and on the other, a historical film that maybe does not circumvent all the pitfalls specific to the genre.

László Nemes has invented something. And he was clever enough not to try to show the Holocaust. He knew he could not and should not. This is not a film on the Holocaust, but on what life as a Sonderkommando was like [...] What I always wanted to say when I said it was impossible to show the Shoah, is that the idea of showing death in the gas chambers is unimaginable. This is not what we see here. The director looks at the special units that had to do the terrible job of forcing other Jews to get undressed, leave their clothes behind and enter the gas chambers.  [ 3 ]

Only a handful of educational theorists hold the view that if only the adult world would get out of the way, children would ripen into fully realized people. Most thinkers, educational practitioners, and parents acknowledge that children are born helpless and need the care and guidance of adults into their teens and often beyond. More specifically, children need to learn how to live harmoniously in society. Historically, the mission of schools has been to develop in the young both the intellectual and the moral virtues. Concern for the moral virtues, such as honesty, responsibility, and respect for others, is the domain of moral education.

Moral education, then, refers to helping children acquire those virtues or moral habits that will help them individually live good lives and at the same time become productive, contributing members of their communities. In this view, moral education should contribute not only to the students as individuals, but also to the social cohesion of a community. The word moral comes from a Latin root ( mos, moris ) and means the code or customs of a people, the social glue that defines how individuals should live together.

During the last quarter of the twentieth century, as many schools attempted to ignore the moral dimension of schooling, three things happened: Achievement scores began to decline, discipline and behavior problems increased, and voices were raised accusing the schools of teaching secular humanism. As the same time, educators were encouraged to address the moral concerns of students using two approaches: values clarification and cognitive developmental moral education.

Other investigations closely related to art, science, politics, or other pursuits remained part of philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective? [18] [19] Are there many scientific methods or just one? [20] Is political utopia a hopeful dream or hopeless fantasy? [21] [22] [23] Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include metaphysics ("concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being"), [24] epistemology (about the "nature and grounds of knowledge [and]...its limits and validity" [25] ), ethics , aesthetics , political philosophy , logic , philosophy of science , and the history of Western philosophy.

Since the 20th century, professional philosophers contribute to society primarily as professors . However, many of those who study philosophy in undergraduate or graduate programs contribute in the fields of law, journalism, politics, religion, science, business and various art and entertainment activities. [26]

Traditionally, the term "philosophy" referred to any body of knowledge . [14] [27] In this sense, philosophy is closely related to religion, mathematics, natural science, education and politics. Newton's 1687 " Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy " is classified in the 2000s as a book of physics; he used the term " natural philosophy " because it used to encompass disciplines that later became associated with sciences such as astronomy , medicine and physics . [15]


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