Pagan Virtue: An Essay in Ethics

By John Casey | Go to book overview

7
POSTSCRIPT: HOMER, SHAKESPEARE, AND THE CONFLICT OF VALUES

HAVE I been attempting to excavate and commend 'pagan' values? Certainly the thrust of the book has been towards eliciting sympathy for ways of thinking about the virtues that owe very little to Christian tradition. Excavation, however, is an antiquarian pursuit, and rarely leads to the revival of a tradition of architecture. My suggestion has implicitly been that we do in practice think about human excellences much of the time in ways which could be described (or censured) as 'pagan'. We do value greatness of achievement as well as pure intentions; we respect proper pride in others, and need to have it in ourselves; we do understand the virtues as somehow fulfilled in a public sphere; we admire and love people more for the active virtues of courage and practical wisdom than for what Hume called the 'monkish virtues' of humility and self-denial.1 Yet at the same time it would be absurd to deny that we are all inescapably influenced by another tradition, one which teaches that he who would save his life must lose it; that the poor in spirit shall inherit the earth; that unless we become as little children we shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. (We are also influenced by such Stoic ideas as that the wise and good man can be happy even if he is enslaved; and by Kant's doctrine that the only absolutely good thing in the world is the Good Will.) On the face of it, these different traditions cannot be reconciled. It is true that Aquinas made an heroic attempt to reconcile the ethics of Aristotle with the teachings of Christ, and that many men of the Renaissance were quite unembarrassed by the conflict -- just as they were happy to mingle Christian and pagan mythology in their art and literature. (And that remarkable work of the seventeenth century -- the Oracle of the Jesuit Gracian -- after two hundred and ninety-nine

____________________
1
Cf. Enquiry, sect. ix, pt. 1.

-211-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Pagan Virtue: An Essay in Ethics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS *
  • Contents *
  • I - PERSONS 1
  • 2 - COURAGE 51
  • 3 - TEMPERANCE 104
  • 4 - PRACTICAL WISDOM 144
  • 5 - JUSTICE 172
  • 6 - PAGAN VIRTUES? 199
  • 7 - POSTSCRIPT: HOMER, SHAKESPEARE, AND THE CONFLICT OF VALUES 211
  • BIBLOGRAPHY 227
  • Index 233
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 242

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.