ETHICS ISSUES: LIBERALISM, PROGRESSIVISM and The Rest
The study of ethics goes back at least to the birth of philosophy some 2500 years ago, with Socrates positing that ethical truth was not only rational but demonstrably absolute. Plato expanded on this thought, and since then countless philosophers have put in their two cents worth with no visible damage to Socrates’s original conjecture. Aristotle’s subsequent metaphysics defined ethics as “virtue as a means to happiness,” opening the door to scholastic conflict and beginning a long history of questioning just what is meant by happiness (and virtue, for that matter). Truth, however, remains sacrosanct despite all assaults (and opinions).
The rapid proliferation of newspapers, journals and literary salons in the 18th Century caused an explosion in mass communication that encouraged public venues where ideas, political and otherwise, could be discussed, developed and