Ethical Philosophy Selector

Did this back in 2003.

Sam picked up on it recently, and I was prompted to re-do and see how my outlook has changed.

Latest Result

1.  Aquinas   (100%)  Information link
2.  Aristotle   (94%)  Information link
3.  Jeremy Bentham   (72%)  Information link
4.  Plato   (71%)  Information link
5.  John Stuart Mill   (55%)  Information link
6.  St. Augustine   (53%)  Information link
7.  Epicureans   (52%)  Information link
8.  Spinoza   (51%)  Information link
9.  Jean-Paul Sartre   (50%)  Information link
10.  Ayn Rand   (46%)  Information link
11.  Thomas Hobbes   (40%)  Information link
12.  Stoics   (40%)  Information link
13.  Nel Noddings   (38%)  Information link
14.  David Hume   (38%)  Information link
15.  Nietzsche   (37%)  Information link
16.  Cynics   (29%)  Information link
17.  Ockham   (14%)  Information link
18.  Kant   (11%)  Information link
19.  Prescriptivism   (3%)  Information link

Previous Result

1. Spinoza (100%)
2. Aquinas (89%)
3. Stoics (89%)
4. Aristotle (86%)
5. Nietzsche (85%)
6. Jeremy Bentham (70%)
7. Epicureans (68%)
8. Jean-Paul Sartre (68%)
9. Nel Noddings (65%)
10. Plato (64%)

Significant differences … the survey itself seems modified behind the scenes, certainly the reporting has.

Aquinas, Aristotle and Plato all up, Spinoza down, Nietzsche well down. Weird ? Re-reading Nietzsche and reading Spinoza both at the moment. Not sure if this is meaningful at all. Clearly there is a level of interpretation in the survey relationships to the specific philosophers introduced by whomever created it.

3 thoughts on “Ethical Philosophy Selector”

  1. What surprises me is how many people that I know end up with Aquinas at 100%. I’m not sure what the selection bias is there…

  2. Well, I’ll tell you guys one thing: I got 0% on all of them because I objected to all of the questions, let alone the answers. Certainly it was because my Platonism detector is always all the way up (which annoys everyone), but you’ll notice that there are no pragmatists up there. No Dewey.

    There’s a hidden point behind there: pragmatists are considered to be nihilists/relativists/irrationalists/etc. because they don’t like the way the game has been played. Everyone else can find a spot on the chart because they play by enough of the same rules (by the way, who the hell’s Nel Noddings?). Pragmatists want to kick over the chessboard. They don’t like rules and laws, but the only other options are stuff about self-interest and emotions and desires, which isn’t quite right either.

    Or, maybe I was just being picky. I did almost answer “Yes” to “should people act as if it was a universal law”–ya’ know, the Kant question. But that’s because that’s a pretty good rule of thumb, handed down to us from Jesus. But Jesus was a good moralist, not a moral philosopher, and as a question of moral philosophy, the question stinks of Platonism.

  3. I agree about the questions, and questioned how meaningful the answers were. I think it says more about the question setter – presumably Nel Noddings 😉

    “As if” is a powerful (and pragmatic) recurring concept.

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