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The Modern Scholar: Ethics: A History of Moral Thought | [Peter Kreeft]

The Modern Scholar: Ethics: A History of Moral Thought

This course addresses some of the eternal questions that man has grappled with since the beginning of time. What is good? What is bad? Why is justice important? Why is it better to be good and just than it is to be bad and unjust? Most human beings have the faculty to discern between right and wrong, good and bad behavior, and to make judgments over what is just and what is unjust. But why are ethics important to us?
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Publisher's Summary

This course addresses some of the eternal questions that man has grappled with since the beginning of time. What is good? What is bad? Why is justice important? Why is it better to be good and just than it is to be bad and unjust?

Most human beings have the faculty to discern between right and wrong, good and bad behavior, and to make judgments over what is just and what is unjust. But why are ethics important to us?

This course looks at our history as ethical beings. We'll travel into the very heart of mankind's greatest philosophical dilemmas - to the origins of our moral values and the problem of ethics. Are ethics universal, absolute and unchanging - or are they culturally relative, changing, and man-made? Furthermore, we'll delve into the creation of ethical systems - not just for ourselves, but also for society at large. And we will consider the ongoing process of establishing ethical frameworks for society.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2004 Peter Kreeft; (P)2004 Recorded Books

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  •  
    J. Maxwell 11-02-09
    J. Maxwell 11-02-09 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprisingly Good"

    I am in love with this author. Even though his voice is almost monotone, he is one of the most interesting authors I've ever read/heard.

    Content: I also found the content to be quite stimulating and easy-to-learn. True, the author does attempt to cover Philosophy from Socrates all the way down to the 1900's. This is a daunting task. The author takes you as deep as he's allowed. As an "average joe" who knows next-to-nothing about the history of philosophy, I was utterly enthralled. When I go back to listen/read to everything a second time, I'm definitely going to take it more seriously and check out the recommended readings. (I listened passively and didn't put much effort.)

    As far as the author's bais....yes, he is a Christian philosopher. Is this a bad thing? Jesus ISN'T a primary focus-though he did mention that Jesus and Socrates were the two most-influential people who had ever lived-and even Christian philosophers aren't a main focus. The only Christian philosopher-to my knowledge-that got any "talk time" was Thomas Aquinas, who was a very influential philosopher in regards to religion.

    Nevertheless, any bias the author might have is shattered in the last lecture about conclusions. Through the last lecture-and even the end of the previous lectures-he starts to wrap up his main idea for the entire series. He doesn't talk about Christianity at all to my knowledge. He merely states the benefits of thinking through life by asking the right questions, and by learning from the great minds that have come before us.

    The quality of this audiobook as a whole will lead me to more books by this author and more in the Modern Scholar series.

    30 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Frisco, TX, USA 08-20-09
    Mark Frisco, TX, USA 08-20-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Overview of Ethical Thought"

    I really enjoyed Dr. Kreeft's lectures on Ethics. Though the other review found it over-Christian, I did not. He does prefer Socrates over later philosophers, proposing that Socrates overcomes most of the later ethical viewpoints of other figures. While the bias is present, it's not overwhelming of the material. I found this to be an excellent introduction to the different viewpoints of several of the great thinkers of history.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Riverside, CA, United States 05-15-10
    Shawn Riverside, CA, United States 05-15-10
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    "Fantastic"

    I thought this was an excellent series of lectures on the history of ethics. The lecturer had a very pleasant voice and explained his ideas clearly. Although he recommends reading certain books and classic texts on ethics before each lecture, I didn't do so and I was still able to easily follow along and understand the ideas being discussed.

    I'm an atheist and I didn't find a huge religious bias in this like some people apparently did; religion exists and has had a huge role in ethical philosophy, so it would be ridiculous if religious ethicists were not included and discussed.

    Recommended absolutely to anyone who is interested in ethical philosophy. I think it would be a great starting point for someone unfamiliar with the subject.

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Bedford Hills, NY, United States 10-03-13
    John Bedford Hills, NY, United States 10-03-13 Member Since 2010

    Expansive creative worlds or histories seem to be my thing these days... Too much time in a car with long drives ahead!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great refresher course"
    If you could sum up The Modern Scholar in three words, what would they be?

    I have a BA in philosophy but it has been years since I have been in a classroom. This wonderful narrative brought all the passion back to me and also brought a lot of old dusty books back off my bookcase. Give it a shot!


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joni Terrell, TX, United States 07-04-12
    Joni Terrell, TX, United States 07-04-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Wonderful book!"
    If you could sum up The Modern Scholar in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting, engaging, well-writtten


    What did you like best about this story?

    It felt like I was at the universtiy listening to the professor


    What about Peter Kreeft’s performance did you like?

    He was very interesting to listen to and offered a chance for you to think deeper about the topics disscussed


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If you were traveling you could, however it takes many hours. Worth the time!


    Any additional comments?

    I am ordering more of the Modern Scholar audible books as I learned more in this one book than in others I have read or listened to.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lazaro cutler bay, FL, United States 10-25-11
    Lazaro cutler bay, FL, United States 10-25-11 Member Since 2010

    My name is Laz O. I'm a firefighter. I enjoy listening to books on tape. I've been hooked since the first one. Enjoy!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it!"

    I loved this audiobook. Yes, it could be construed as religiously biased, but Professor Kreeft tells you his position from the get go. If you do not believe in metaphysics; i.e., God, The Spirit in the Sky, take what you can from the book. It has much more to offer. I listened to it in preparation for Ethics in college. His chapter on Plato's The Republic is an excellent way to prepare for The Allegory of the Cave.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHESTER LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 09-19-14
    CHESTER LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 09-19-14 Member Since 2007

    Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.

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    Story
    "PHILOSOPHERS OF MORAL THOUGHT"

    Professor Kreeft, in The Modern Scholar’ lectures, offers stories of interesting philosophers and what they think they know about moral thought. Ethics: A History of Moral Thought is a whirlwind tour of how philosophers define ethics. It begins in antiquity and continues through tomorrow. What one hears in these lectures may be accepted and practiced in life tomorrow or never; if never, one is seemingly confirming belief in free choice, but not much more. As a warning to the curious, the tour is circular. The tour ends as it begins.

    Nearing the end of Krefft’s lectures, he addresses the attempts of science to define morality and ethics. Krefft acknowledges the idea of observational analysis, dating back to Machiavelli’s views of history but the scientific movement gains momentum with David Hume (1711-1776), Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), and John Stewart Mill (1806-1873). It seems these three users of the scientific method provide little light in their analysis of morality and ethics. Their contribution is in the use of scientific method to understand normative standards of society.

    By the end of Professor Krefft’s lectures a listener returns to Socrates suggestion; i.e. “Know thyself” because “The unexamined life is not worth living”. What you believe is what you believe. Krefft suggests we should always seek to understand why we believe what we believe.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Niall 08-20-10
    Niall 08-20-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    252
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    "Modern scholar = Portable Profesor"

    If you have ever bought the short lived Barnes and Noble Portable Professor series PLEASE NOTE this is an exact copy except that the cover art is different and the titles are slightly changed. I ended up buy books I already own. That said, Kreefts books are easily the very best I have ever read/heard. His Philosophy of Religion title is worth hearing over and over again.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fabrizio villafranca di veronaItaly 12-18-09
    Fabrizio villafranca di veronaItaly 12-18-09
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    "Great book."

    Enjoyable, well arrayed, smooth listening notwithstanding the complexity of topics.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlos Cortés Bay Area, California 07-03-12
    Carlos Cortés Bay Area, California 07-03-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Pretty good for a religious guy"
    What did you love best about The Modern Scholar?

    Very digestible presentation. Does a reasonable job of presenting ancient philosophers' views, then separately asserting his opinions.


    What does Peter Kreeft bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He read's well for a content author, so the emphasis is perfect. Philosophy is particularly awkward when read by the average author.


    Any additional comments?

    His philosophical positions are totally absurd from my thinking. Example: He asserts that if God exists and is morally perfect, then god must be the basis or our morality. I can't even begin to understand how someone who calls himself a philosopher could sling together such a collection of unsubstantiated claims. "if god exists and is morally perfect?" That seems utterly impossible for any creature, sentient or not but fine, we'll just assume it's true even though we can't begin to understand the implications. "Then our morality must be based on god's" What!? God is a completely different kind of organism from us and there's only one of him. His social morality would be fundamentally different from ours. He is far more powerful than we are. His morality requires him to show far greater restraint in using his power to his own benefit than humans do. I can go on, but you get the point.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
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