Ambitions

Pettigrove, G. (2007) Ambitions. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 10(1), pp. 53-68. (doi:10.1007/s10677-006-9044-4)

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Abstract

Ambition is a curiously neglected topic in ethics. It isn’t that philosophers have not discussed it. Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Harrington, Locke, Rousseau, Smith, Santayana and a number of others have discussed ambition. But it has seldom received more than a few paragraphs worth of analysis, in spite of the fact that ambition plays a central role in Western politics (one cannot be elected without it), and in spite of the fact that Machiavelli, Harrington, Locke and Rousseau each considered it to be among the greatest threats to political security. The aim of this paper is to provide a long overdue analysis of ambition. The first part of the paper explores what ambition is. The second seeks to answer the question, “Is ambition a virtue or a vice?”

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pettigrove, Professor Glen
Authors: Pettigrove, G.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1386-2820
ISSN (Online):1572-8447
Published Online:15 November 2006

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