|Descartes' Thoughts On Morality
Descartes' most famous discussion of morality occurs where he presents "a code of morals" consisting of "three or four maxim." These codes are presented as a set of guidelines, more than philosophically argued. "The first was to obey the laws and customs of my country, adhering constantly to the religion in which by God's grace I had been instructed since my childhood, and in all other things directing my conduct by opinion the most moderate in nature."
"My second maxim was that of being as firm and resolute in my actions as I could be, and not to follow less faithfully opinions the most dubious, when my mind was once made up regarding them, than if there had been beyond doubt."
"My third maxim was to try always to conquer myself rather then fortune, and to alter my desire rather than change the order of the world, and generally to accustom myself to believe that there is nothing entirely within our power but our own thought."
"And last of all, to conclude this moral code, I felt it incumbent on me to make a review of the various occupations of men in this life in order to try to choose the best."
To Descartes, a morally desirable life requires "the pursuit of virtue," which "consists in doing the good things that depend on us." (he defines virtue as "habits of the soul")
|Other Philosophers on the topic of Morality|
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