1st Edition

Early Ethical Writings of Aurel Kolnai

By Francis Dunlop Copyright 2002

    This title was first published in 2002: Kolnai's later work in moral philosophy is well-known, and interest in it continues to grow, but his dissertation, Ethical Value and Reality, has received little attention - although Kolnai himself said that it contains the germs of nearly all his subsequent thought. This first English translation of the dissertation and of two related papers from the same period will enable the English-speaking reader to explore Kolnai's ethical work as a whole. In Ethical Value and Reality Kolnai proposes a 'completion' of phenomenological value-ethics which takes account of 'the embeddedness of ethical values in reality'. Kolnai explores moral psychology and offers important perspectives on political activity in its moral dimensions, on the relation between morality and religion, and on the relation between the moral point of view and the psycho-therapeutic. Dunlop's comprehensive introduction to the translation provides the reader with assistance in understanding the text, setting it in its contemporary context, and relating it to Kolnai's subsequent writings.

    Contents: Translator's introduction; Translator's preface; Ethical value and reality: Preface; List of works consulted; Introduction: the problem of a completely valid ethics and the limits of morality: Ethical Value: Primary data of ethics; The phenomenological ethic of values; The bearer of value and the ethical end; The special place of ethical value; Conflict between ethical values; The Limits of the Ethical End: The presuppositions of adopting an end; Ideal and reality; The moral suppression of need; Ethical reform; Résumé on limitation; The Gradation of Ethical Value-Emphases: The order of values; The nature of emphasis and gradation; Gradations of emphasis and ethical freedom; Gradation in the individual moral act and the stratification of intention; The coming together of value-emphases; Gradation of emphasis and the finitude of the moral world; Some Criticism of One-sided Ethical Approaches: Introduction; The ethic of stoicism; Practical value-monism from Kant to Marx; The ethic of the order of justice and the ethic of regulation; The ethical outlook of psychoanalysis; Gradation in the Types of Value-Experience: Introduction: the opposition of value and reality; The experience of exclusion; The experience of coordination; The experience of incorporation; The experience of directness; Persons and Responsibility: Gradation in conduct; The meaning of responsibility; Personalistic ethics; Concluding remarks: the possibility of an ethics close to reality; The Structure of Moral Intention; Duty, Inclination and "Moral-Mindedness"; Index.


    Francis Dunlop

    'Thanks to the efforts of Dr Dunlop and others (...) we now have in book form a substantial body of previously published and unpublished work by Kolnai...' Appraisal '... this collection is a boon to those who are familiar with or interested in Kolnai's work, adding substantially to the stock of his work available in English.' Philosophy in Review 'Kolnai's book provides an extraordinarily sophisticated ethics, one that any reader - and especially the theologian - will find genial and inspiring in equal measure.' Pro Ecclesia