Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Case for GreatnessHonorable Ambition and Its Critics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Robert Faulkner

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300123937

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300123937.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 30 November 2021

Honorable Greatness Denied (2): The Premises

Honorable Greatness Denied (2): The Premises

Chapter:
(p.219) Chapter Eight Honorable Greatness Denied (2): The Premises
Source:
The Case for Greatness
Author(s):

Robert Faulkner

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300123937.003.0008

This chapter aims to outline the underlying dynamic of modern political theories at work in the stories, complicated doubts, and paradoxical denials of John Rawls and Hannah Arendt. The chapter then sketches a representative early modern critique of virtue and especially superior virtue (Hobbes's), the leading attempt to recover morality by a teaching of equal dignity (Kant's), and finally how Nietzschean thought brought about the relativism and postmodern efflorescence—all of which would create the sense of skepticism about human excellence. Thomas Hobbes began this attack by targeting ancient, biblical virtue, as well as the ancients' praise of magnanimity. What Aristotle defined as magnanimity, Hobbes would refer to as foolish and dangerous “vanity.” Thus this chapter outlines the possible origins of this modern skepticism by looking at its critics and their attacking theories on the idea and concept of greatness in an individual.

Keywords:   modern political theories, John Rawls, Hannah Arendt, modern critique of virtue, superior virtue, Thomas Hobbes, Kant, human excellence

Yale Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.