Constantine Manasses was a Byzantine chronicler who flourished in the 12th century during the reign of Manuel I Komnenos. He was the author of a chronicle or historical synopsis of events from the creation of the world to the end of the reign of Nikephoros Botaneiates, sponsored by Irene Komnene, the emperor's sister-in-law, it consists of about 7000 lines in political verse. It appeared in a free prose translation. Chronicle edition: Bekker, Bonn 1837. Bianu, Bucharest, 1922. In 1969 Bulgaria issued two sets of stamps depicting important scenes of the chronicle, to celebrate it. Manasses wrote the poetical romance Loves of Aristander and Callithea in political verse, it is only known from the fragments preserved in the rose-garden of Macarius Chrysocephalus. Manasses wrote a short biography of Oppian, some descriptive pieces on artistic and other subjects. Attribution: "Constantine Manasses". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved September 3, 2011. Media related to Constantine Manasses Chronicle at Wikimedia Commons
Francesco Petrarca anglicized as Petrarch, was a scholar and poet of Renaissance Italy, one of the earliest humanists. His rediscovery of Cicero's letters is credited with inventing the 14th-century Renaissance. Petrarch is considered the founder of Humanism. In the 16th century, Pietro Bembo created the model for the modern Italian language based on Petrarch's works, as well as those of Giovanni Boccaccio, and, to a lesser extent, Dante Alighieri. Petrarch would be endorsed as a model for Italian style by the Accademia della Crusca. Petrarch's sonnets were admired and imitated throughout Europe during the Renaissance and became a model for lyrical poetry, he is known for being the first to develop the concept of the "Dark Ages." Petrarch was born in the Tuscan city of Arezzo in 1304. He was the son of his wife Eletta Canigiani, his given name was Francesco Petracco. The name was Latinized to Petrarca. Petrarch's younger brother was born in Incisa in Val d'Arno in 1307. Dante was a friend of his father.
Petrarch spent his early childhood near Florence. He spent much of his early life at Avignon and nearby Carpentras, where his family moved to follow Pope Clement V who moved there in 1309 to begin the Avignon Papacy, he studied law at the University of Montpellier and Bologna with a lifelong friend and schoolmate called Guido Sette. Because his father was in the legal profession, he insisted that Petrarch and his brother study law also. Petrarch however, was interested in writing and Latin literature and considered these seven years wasted. Additionally, he proclaimed that through legal manipulation his guardians robbed him of his small property inheritance in Florence, which only reinforced his dislike for the legal system, he protested, "I couldn't face making a merchandise of my mind," as he viewed the legal system as the art of selling justice. Petrarch was a prolific letter writer and counted Boccaccio among his notable friends to whom he wrote often. After the death of their parents and his brother Gherardo went back to Avignon in 1326, where he worked in numerous clerical offices.
This work gave him much time to devote to his writing. With his first large-scale work, Africa, an epic in Latin about the great Roman general Scipio Africanus, Petrarch emerged as a European celebrity. On April 8, 1341, he became the second poet laureate since antiquity and was crowned by Roman Senatori Giordano Orsini and Orso dell'Anguillara on the holy grounds of Rome's Capitol, he traveled in Europe, served as an ambassador, has been called "the first tourist" because he traveled just for pleasure, the reason he climbed Mont Ventoux. During his travels, he collected crumbling Latin manuscripts and was a prime mover in the recovery of knowledge from writers of Rome and Greece, he encouraged and advised Leontius Pilatus's translation of Homer from a manuscript purchased by Boccaccio, although he was critical of the result. Petrarch had acquired a copy, which he did not entrust to Leontius. In 1345 he discovered a collection of Cicero's letters not known to have existed, the collection Epistulae ad Atticum, in the Chapter Library of Verona Cathedral.
Disdaining what he believed to be the ignorance of the centuries preceding the era in which he lived, Petrarch is credited or charged with creating the concept of a historical "Dark Ages". Petrarch recounts that on April 26, 1336, with his brother and two servants, he climbed to the top of Mont Ventoux (1,912 meters, a feat which he undertook for recreation rather than necessity; the exploit is described in a celebrated letter addressed to his friend and confessor, the monk Dionigi di Borgo San Sepolcro, composed some time after the fact. In it, Petrarch claimed to have been inspired by Philip V of Macedon's ascent of Mount Haemo and that an aged peasant had told him that nobody had ascended Ventoux before or after himself, 50 years before, warned him against attempting to do so; the nineteenth-century Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt noted that Jean Buridan had climbed the same mountain a few years before, ascents accomplished during the Middle Ages have been recorded, including that of Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne.
Scholars note that Petrarch's letter to Dionigi displays a strikingly "modern" attitude of aesthetic gratification in the grandeur of the scenery and is still cited in books and journals devoted to the sport of mountaineering. In Petrarch, this attitude is coupled with an aspiration for a virtuous Christian life, on reaching the summit, he took from his pocket a volume by his beloved mentor, Saint Augustine, that he always carried with him. For pleasure alone he climbed Mont Ventoux, which rises to more than six thousand feet, beyond Vaucluse, it was no great feat, of course. Petrarch was dazed and stirred by the view of the Alps, the mountains around Lyons, the Rhone, the Bay of Marseilles, he took Augustine's Confessions from his pocket and reflected that his climb was an allegory of aspiration toward a better life. As the book fell open, Petrarch's eyes were drawn to the following words: And men go about to wonder at the heights of the mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the wide sweep of rive
Germania was the Roman term for the geographical region in north-central Europe inhabited by Germanic peoples. It extended from the Danube and Main in the south to the Baltic Sea, from the Rhine in the west to the Vistula; the Roman portions formed two provinces of the Empire, Germania Inferior to the north, Germania Superior to the south. Germania was inhabited by Germanic tribes, but Celts, Scythians and on Early Slavs; the population mix changed over time by assimilation, by migration. The ancient Greeks were the first to mention the tribes in the area. Julius Caesar wrote about warlike Germanic tribesmen and their threat to Roman Gaul, there were military clashes between the Romans and the indigenous tribes. Tacitus wrote the most complete account of Germania; the origin of the term "Germania" is uncertain, but was known by Caesar's time, may be Gaulish in origin. The ethnonym Germani is most Gallic in origin. Jacob Grimm derived it from a Celtic term for "shouting. Johann Kaspar Zeuss derived the name from the Celtic word for "neighbour".
Germani enters into Latin use following Julius Caesar. Caesar in De Bello Gallico reports hearing from his Remi allies that the term Germani was for a group that had come from across the Rhine, named Germani Cisrhenani. By extension, Germani was understood to include similar tribes still living beyond the Rhine. Tacitus, writing in AD 98, reports that the Tungri of his time, who lived in the area, home to the Germani Cisrhenani, had changed their name, but had once been the original Germani: For the rest, they affirm Germania to be a recent word bestowed. For those who first passed the Rhine and expulsed the Gauls, are now named Tungrians, were called Germani, and thus by degrees the name of a tribe prevailed, not that of the nation. Names of Germany in English and some other languages are derived from "Germania", but German speakers call it "Deutschland", Dutch speakers call it "Duitsland", both from *þeudō "people or nation". Several modern languages use the name "Germania", including Hebrew, Albanian, Maltese, Romanian, Russian and Georgian.
Germania extended from the Rhine eastward to the Vistula river, from the Danube and Main river northward to the Baltic Sea. The areas west of the Rhine were Celtic and became part of the Roman Empire in the first century BC; the Roman parts of Germania, "Lesser Germania" formed two provinces of the empire, Germania Inferior, "Lower Germania" and Germania Superior. Important cities in Lesser Germania included Besançon, Strasbourg and Mainz; the geography of Magna Germania was comprehensively described in Ptolemy's Geography of around 150 AD via geographical coordinates of the main cities. By means of a geodetic deformation analysis carried out by the Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation Science at the Technical University of Berlin as part of a project of the German Research Association under the direction of Dieter Lelgemann in 2007–2010, many historical place names have been localized and associated with place names of the present day. Germania was inhabited by different tribes, most of them Germanic but some Celtic, proto-Slavic and Scythian peoples.
The tribal and ethnic makeup changed over the centuries as a result of assimilation and, most migrations. The Germanic people spoke several different dialects. Classical records show little about the people who inhabited the north of Europe before the 2nd century BC. In the 5th century BC, the Greeks were aware of a group. Herodotus mentioned the Scythians but no other tribes. At around 320 BC, Pytheas of Massalia sailed around Britain and along the northern coast of Europe, what he found on his journeys was so strange that writers refused to believe him, he may have been the first Mediterranean to distinguish the Germanic people from the Celts. Contact between German tribes and the Roman Empire did was not always hostile. Recent excavations of the Waldgirmes Forum show signs that a civilian Roman town was established there, interpreted to mean that Romans and Germanic tribesmen were living in peace, at least for a while. Caesar described the cultural differences between the Germanic tribesmen, the Romans, the Gauls in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico, where he recalls his defeat of the Suebi tribes at the Battle of Vosges.
He describes them at length at the beginning of Book IV and the middle of Book VI. He states that the Gauls, although warlike, had a functional society and could be civilized, but that the Germanic tribesmen were far more savage and were a threat to Roman Gaul and Rome itself. Caesar said the Germanic tribes were nomadic, with a primitive culture, he used this as one of his justifications for. Hi
Homer is the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms, it focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary; the Homeric Question – concerning by whom, when and under what circumstances the Iliad and Odyssey were composed – continues to be debated. Broadly speaking, modern scholarly opinion falls into two groups. One holds that most of the Odyssey are the works of a single poet of genius; the other considers the Homeric poems to be the result of a process of working and reworking by many contributors, that "Homer" is best seen as a label for an entire tradition.
It is accepted that the poems were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century BC. The poems are in Homeric Greek known as Epic Greek, a literary language which shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects from different centuries. Most researchers believe that the poems were transmitted orally. From antiquity until the present day, the influence of the Homeric epics on Western civilization has been great, inspiring many of its most famous works of literature, music and film; the Homeric epics were the greatest influence on education. Today only the Iliad and Odyssey are associated with the name'Homer'. In antiquity, a large number of other works were sometimes attributed to him, including the Homeric Hymns, the Contest of Homer and Hesiod, the Little Iliad, the Nostoi, the Thebaid, the Cypria, the Epigoni, the comic mini-epic Batrachomyomachia, the Margites, the Capture of Oechalia, the Phocais; these claims are not considered authentic today and were by no means universally accepted in the ancient world.
As with the multitude of legends surrounding Homer's life, they indicate little more than the centrality of Homer to ancient Greek culture. Many traditions circulated in the ancient world concerning Homer. Modern scholarly consensus is; some claims were repeated often. They include that Homer was blind, that he was born in Chios, that he was the son of the river Meles and the nymph Critheïs, that he was a wandering bard, that he composed a varying list of other works, that he died either in Ios or after failing to solve a riddle set by fishermen, various explanations for the name "Homer"; the two best known ancient biographies of Homer are the Life of Homer by the Pseudo-Herodotus and the Contest of Homer and Hesiod. The study of Homer is one of the oldest topics in scholarship, dating back to antiquity. Nonetheless, the aims of Homeric studies have changed over the course of the millennia; the earliest preserved comments on Homer concern his treatment of the gods, which hostile critics such as the poet Xenophanes of Colophon denounced as immoral.
The allegorist Theagenes of Rhegium is said to have defended Homer by arguing that the Homeric poems are allegories. The Iliad and the Odyssey were used as school texts in ancient Greek and Hellenistic cultures, they were the first literary works taught to all students. The Iliad its first few books, was far more intently studied than the Odyssey during the Hellenistic and Roman periods; as a result of the poems' prominence in classical Greek education, extensive commentaries on them developed to explain parts of the poems that were culturally or linguistically difficult. During the Hellenistic and Roman Periods, many interpreters the Stoics, who believed that Homeric poems conveyed Stoic doctrines, regarded them as allegories, containing hidden wisdom; because of the Homeric poems' extensive use in education, many authors believed that Homer's original purpose had been to educate. Homer's wisdom became so praised that he began to acquire the image of a prototypical philosopher. Byzantine scholars such as Eustathius of Thessalonica and John Tzetzes produced commentaries and scholia to Homer in the twelfth century.
Eustathius's commentary on the Iliad alone is massive, sprawling nearly 4,000 oversized pages in a twenty-first century printed version and his commentary on the Odyssey an additional nearly 2,000. In 1488, the Greek scholar Demetrios Chalkokondyles published the editio princeps of the Homeric poems; the earliest modern Homeric scholars started with the same basic approaches towards the Homeric poems as scholars in antiquity. The allegorical interpretation of the Homeric poems, so prevalent in antiquity returned to become the prevailing view of the Renaissance. Renaissance humanists praised Homer as the archetypically wise poet, whose writings contain hidden wisdom, disguised through allegory. In western Europe during the Renaissance, Virgil was more read than Homer and Homer was seen through a Virgilian lens. In 1664, contradicting the widespread praise of Homer as the epitome of wisdom, François Hédelin, abbé d'Aubignac wrote a s
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
In Greek mythology, Agamemnon was a king of Mycenae, the son of King Atreus and Queen Aerope of Mycenae, the brother of Menelaus, the husband of Clytemnestra and the father of Iphigenia, Electra or Laodike and Chrysothemis. Legends make him the king of Mycenae or Argos, thought to be different names for the same area; when Helen, the wife of Menelaus, was taken to Troy by Paris, Agamemnon commanded the united Greek armed forces in the ensuing Trojan War. Upon Agamemnon's return from Troy, he was killed by the lover of his wife Clytemnestra. In old versions of the story, the scene of the murder, when it is specified, is the house of Aegisthus, who has not taken up residence in Agamemnon's palace, it involves an ambush and the deaths of Agamemnon's followers as well. In some versions, Clytemnestra herself does the killing, or they act together as accomplices, killing Agamemnon in his own home, his name in Greek, Ἀγαμέμνων, means "very steadfast", "unbowed". The word comes from *Ἀγαμέδμων from ἄγαν, "very much" and μέδομαι, "think on".
Atreus, Agamemnon's father, murdered the sons of his twin brother Thyestes and fed them to Thyestes after discovering Thyestes' adultery with his wife Aerope. Thyestes fathered Aegisthus with his own daughter and this son vowed gruesome revenge on Atreus' children. Aegisthus murdered Atreus and restored his father to the throne. Aegisthus jointly ruled with Thyestes. During this period and his brother, took refuge with Tyndareus, King of Sparta. There they married Tyndareus' daughters Clytemnestra and Helen. Agamemnon and Clytemnestra had four children: one son and three daughters, Iphigenia and Chrysothemis. Menelaus succeeded Tyndareus in Sparta, while Agamemnon, with his brother's assistance, drove out Aegisthus and Thyestes to recover his father's kingdom, he became the most powerful prince in Greece. Agamemnon's family history had been tarnished by murder and treachery, consequences of the heinous crime perpetrated by his ancestor, of a curse placed upon Pelops, son of Tantalus, by Myrtilus, whom he had murdered.
Thus misfortune hounded successive generations of the House of Atreus, until atoned by Orestes in a court of justice held jointly by humans and gods. Agamemnon gathered the reluctant Greek forces to sail for Troy. Preparing to depart from Ancient Greece, a port in Boeotia, Agamemnon's army incurred the wrath of the goddess Artemis. There are several reasons throughout myth for such wrath: in Aeschylus' play Agamemnon, Artemis is angry for the young men who will die at Troy, whereas in Sophocles' Electra, Agamemnon has slain an animal sacred to Artemis, subsequently boasted that he was Artemis' equal in hunting. Misfortunes, including a plague and a lack of wind, prevented the army from sailing; the prophet Calchas announced that the wrath of the goddess could only be propitiated by the sacrifice of Agamemnon's daughter Iphigenia. Classical dramatizations differ on how willing either daughter was to this fate, her death appeased Artemis, the Greek army set out for Troy. Several alternatives to the human sacrifice have been presented in Greek mythology.
Other sources, such as Iphigenia at Aulis, say that Agamemnon was prepared to kill his daughter, but that Artemis accepted a deer in her place, whisked her away to Tauris in the Crimean Peninsula. Hesiod said. Agamemnon was the commander-in-chief of the Greeks during the Trojan War. During the fighting, Agamemnon killed Antiphus and fifteen other Trojan soldiers, according to one source, but in the "Iliad" itself, he's shown to slaughter hundreds more in Book 11 during his "aristea" loosely translated to "day of glory", the most similar to Achilles' "aristea" in Book 21. Before his "aristea," Agamemnon was considered to be one of the three best warriors on the Greek side as proven when Hector challenges any champion of the Greek side to fight him in Book 7, Agamemnon is one of the three most wished for to face him out of the nine strongest Greek warriors who volunteered, and after they reconciled Achilles admits in Book 23 that Agamemnon is "the best in strength and in throwing the spear." That claim is further proven by the fact that Agamemnon was the only major warrior on either side never to need the gods' direct intervention to increase his strength or give him any unfair advantages in battle and yet he still caused incredible destruction on the scale of Achilles.
The Iliad tells the story about the quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles in the final year of the war. Following one of the Achaean Army's raids, daughter of Chryses, one of Apollo's priests, was taken as a war prize by Agamemnon. Chryses was met with little success. Chryses prayed to Apollo for the safe return of his daughter, which Apollo responded to by unleashing a plague over the Achaean Army. After learning from the Prophet Calchas that the plague could be dispelled by returning Chryseis to her father, Agamemnon reluctantly agreed (but first berated Calch
Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concerns matters of value, thus comprises the branch of philosophy called axiology. Ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil and wrong, virtue and vice and crime; as a field of intellectual inquiry, moral philosophy is related to the fields of moral psychology, descriptive ethics, value theory. Three major areas of study within ethics recognized today are: Meta-ethics, concerning the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions, how their truth values can be determined Normative ethics, concerning the practical means of determining a moral course of action Applied ethics, concerning what a person is obligated to do in a specific situation or a particular domain of action The English word "ethics" is derived from the Ancient Greek word ēthikós, meaning "relating to one's character", which itself comes from the root word êthos meaning "character, moral nature".
This was borrowed into Latin as ethica and into French as éthique, from which it was borrowed into English. Rushworth Kidder states that "standard definitions of ethics have included such phrases as'the science of the ideal human character' or'the science of moral duty'". Richard William Paul and Linda Elder define ethics as "a set of concepts and principles that guide us in determining what behavior helps or harms sentient creatures"; the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy states that the word "ethics" is "commonly used interchangeably with'morality'... and sometimes it is used more narrowly to mean the moral principles of a particular tradition, group or individual." Paul and Elder state that most people confuse ethics with behaving in accordance with social conventions, religious beliefs and the law and don't treat ethics as a stand-alone concept. The word ethics in English refers to several things, it can refer to philosophical ethics or moral philosophy—a project that attempts to use reason to answer various kinds of ethical questions.
As the English philosopher Bernard Williams writes, attempting to explain moral philosophy: "What makes an inquiry a philosophical one is reflective generality and a style of argument that claims to be rationally persuasive." Williams describes the content of this area of inquiry as addressing the broad question, "how one should live". Ethics can refer to a common human ability to think about ethical problems, not particular to philosophy; as bioethicist Larry Churchill has written: "Ethics, understood as the capacity to think critically about moral values and direct our actions in terms of such values, is a generic human capacity." Ethics can be used to describe a particular person's own idiosyncratic principles or habits. For example: "Joe has strange ethics." Meta-ethics is the branch of philosophical ethics that asks how we understand, know about, what we mean when we talk about what is right and what is wrong. An ethical question pertaining to a particular practical situation—such as, "Should I eat this particular piece of chocolate cake?"—cannot be a meta-ethical question.
A meta-ethical question is abstract and relates to a wide range of more specific practical questions. For example, "Is it possible to have secure knowledge of what is right and wrong?" is a meta-ethical question. Meta-ethics has always accompanied philosophical ethics. For example, Aristotle implies that less precise knowledge is possible in ethics than in other spheres of inquiry, he regards ethical knowledge as depending upon habit and acculturation in a way that makes it distinctive from other kinds of knowledge. Meta-ethics is important in G. E. Moore's Principia Ethica from 1903. In it he first wrote about. Moore was seen to reject naturalism in his Open Question Argument; this made. Earlier, the Scottish philosopher David Hume had put forward a similar view on the difference between facts and values. Studies of how we know in ethics divide into non-cognitivism. Non-cognitivism is the view that when we judge something as morally right or wrong, this is neither true nor false. We may, for example, be only expressing our emotional feelings about these things.
Cognitivism can be seen as the claim that when we talk about right and wrong, we are talking about matters of fact. The ontology of ethics is about value-bearing things or properties, i.e. the kind of things or stuff referred to by ethical propositions. Non-descriptivists and non-cognitivists believe that ethics does not need a specific ontology since ethical propositions do not refer; this is known as an anti-realist position. Realists, on the other hand, must explain what kind of entities, properties or states are relevant for ethics, how they have value, why they guide and motivate our actions. Normative ethics is the study of ethical action, it is the branch of ethics that investigates the set of questions that arise when considering how one ought to act, morally speaking. Normative ethics is distinct from meta-ethics because normative ethics examines standards for the rightness and wrongness of actions, while meta-ethics studies the meaning of moral language and the metaphysics of moral facts.
Normative ethics is distinct from descriptive ethics, as the latter is an empirical investigation of people's moral beliefs. To put it another way, descriptive ethics would be concerned with determining what proportion of people believe th