This volume explores Plato's and Aristotle's theories about good things, goodness, and the best life for human beings, and draws comparisons between ancient and modern theories of good and justice. Goodness and Justice argues that goodness was the most fundamental normative concept in the ethics of Plato and Aristotle, and illustrates how they used their functional and formal theories of good to build their theories of virtue, justice, and happiness. It also shows that they fought subjective theories of good as desire satisfaction and good as pleasure, in favor of what they thought was a more objective concept of good found in form and function. The comparisons with the moderns illuminate the merits and limits of ancient and modern ethical theories and place them within a broad philosophical and historical context.
Gerasimos Santas is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Irvine. He is author of Socrates: Philosophy in Plato's Early Dialogues (1979), and Plato and Freud: Two Theories of Love (Blackwell 1988).