Single Idea 7419

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / b. Defining ethics]

Full Idea

What is ethics, if not the practice of freedom, the conscious [réfléchie] practice of freedom?

Gist of Idea

Ethics is the conscious practice of freedom


Michel Foucault (Ethics of the Concern for Self as Freedom [1984], p.284)

Book Reference

Foucault,Michel: 'Essential Works 1954-1984 I: Ethics', ed/tr. Rabinow,Paul [Penguin 1994], p.284

A Reaction

Makes Foucault sound very existentialist. I'm not sure I understand this kind of remark, given that serial killers seem to be exceptionally good at 'practising their freedom'. However, the idea is akin to Kant's notion of a truly good will (Idea 3710).

Related Idea

Idea 3710 The only purely good thing is a good will [Kant]