- R$ 39,90
Descrição da editora
An utterly original exploration of the timeless human virtues and how they apply to the way we live now, from a bold and dynamic French writer.
In this graceful, incisive book, writer-philosopher André Comte-Sponville reexamines the classic human virtues to help us under-stand "what we should do, who we should be, and how we should live." In the process, he gives us an entirely new perspective on the value, the relevance, and even the charm of the Western ethical tradition.
Drawing on thinkers from Aristotle to Simone Weil, by way of Aquinas, Kant, Rilke, Nietzsche, Spinoza, and Rawls, among others, Comte-Sponville elaborates on the qualities that constitute the essence and excellence of humankind. Starting with politeness -- almost a virtue -- and ing with love -- which transcs all morality -- A Small Treatise on the Great Virtues takes us on a tour of the eighteen essential virtues: fidelity, prudence, temperance, courage, justice, generosity, compassion, mercy, gratitude, humility, simplicity, tolerance, purity, gentleness, good faith, and even, surprisingly, humor.Sophisticated and lucid, full of wit and vivacity, this modestly titled yet immensely important work provides an indispensable guide to finding what is right and good in everyday life.
French right-wing "nouveau philosophe" Comte-Sponville, a professor at Paris's Sorbonne, had an international success with this not-so-small book, though it's unclear how many buyers have made it all the way through. Dividing the book into 18 virtue-based chapters "Politeness," "Fidelity," "Prudence," "Temperance," "Courage," "Mercy," "Gratitude," and so on Comte-Sponville quotes a multitude of philosophers from the ancient Greeks through Spinoza, Hobbes and Nietzsche to modern Frenchmen like Vladimir Jankelevitch. But doing so fails to make what is essentially a quirky, self-centered monologue into an all-ages dialogue: "Kant and Rousseau think gratitude a duty. I'm not convinced. Moreover, I don't really believe in duties." Such pronouncements presume a reputation and familiarity that does not carry over to these shores. The humorless writing on humor seems oddly pitched as well: "One mustn't exaggerate the importance of humor, however. A bastard can have a sense of humor, and a hero can lack one. But as we have seen, the same is true of most virtues, and as an argument against humor it proves nothing, except of course that humor itself proves nothing." This is Comte-Sponville's first book rendered in English, and despite the concise translation (by Catherine Temerson), it's not hard to see why.