Normative Ethics Before the Twentieth Century

  • Maxim Storchevoy


In this chapter we will explore the most interesting period in the development of ethics—the appearance of the idea of science and the following construction of a new type of knowledge based only on rational argumentation. We will explore how the creators of the new human knowledge understood the methodological status of ethics and will see that surprisingly many of them believed in the possibility of building a scientific variant of ethics. Other philosophers took opposite positions and claimed that scientific ethics was impossible. Later this skepticism had a strong influence on further development of moral philosophy and other social sciences.


Utilitarianism Social contract Natural law Sense of beauty Ethics Scientific method Scholastic Skepticism 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maxim Storchevoy
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of ManagementSt. Petersburg UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.National Research University Higher School of EconomicsSt. PetersburgRussia

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