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Gurevich, P. S. How the Morals Were Born

Published in journal "Philosophy and Culture", 2014-6 in rubric "The stream of books", pages 913-915.

Resume: Heidegger insisted on studying the ancient world in order to successfully and efficiently solve a problem. He meant philosophy but it appears that the culture in general can be the introduction to understanding the genesis of morals. The author of the thesis analyzes Achilles’ behavior and shows that the hero mostly followed the tradition and customs of those times. However, he also reserved the right to choose and make a decision of his own. Noteworthy that Achilles also demonstrated a strong will to make the final choice. Both The Iliad and The Odyssey contain many examples of positive decisions and actions made by Achilles. This evidently shows that behavioral tendencies we are interested in can actually clear up the mystery of the origin of morals. Pavel Gurevich bases his review on the researches of the animal behavior. He uses the historical method allowing to analyze a phenomenon in terms of its development, i.e. from its origin to the current state. Pavel Gurevich also uses the comparative method allowing to draw a distinction between the animal behavior and human behavior. The novelty of the research is in the attempt to describe stages of the development of morals and its origin. Homer’s experience serves as a priceless evidence that Achilles’ behavior corresponded to the golden rule of morals.

Keywords: archaic society, morals, change in morals, Homeric epos, golden rule, retribution, anger, compassion, altruism, behavior.

DOI: 10.7256/1999-2793.2014.6.12262

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