Georgios Anagnostopoulos, University of California at San Diego <!--end-->
"One of the very greatest Socrates scholars of the twentieth century – here in finer form than ever – now brings us the fruits of decades of reading and teaching the ethics and social philosophy of Plato and Aristotle viewed in the light of John Rawls's theory of justice. The two chapters on Justice in the Republic are not only refreshing but also as illuminating as anything ever written on that topic. For everyone, from the greatest scholar to the beginning student, this book is a lesson both in how to do philosophy and how to read texts." Terry Penner, University of Wisconsin
"This wonderful book on the fundamental concept of goodness is the harvest of a lifetime's reflection on ancient and modern ethics. Its bounty includes the isolation of two theories of good in Plato's Republic – a functional theory and a metaphysical theory – an account of the Form of the Good that rescues the pinnacle of Plato's philosophy from the charge of vacuity, and a discussion of Aristotle's rejection of the metaphysical theory and his embrace of the functional. It is a virtual commentary on both the Republic and the Nicomachean Ethics. Truly a masterwork." David Keyt, University of Washington
"This is the most insightful overarching analysis of the good in Plato and Aristotle of recent decades. Santas offers a comprehensive framework for the classification, and detailed discussion, of Plato's and Aristotle's theories of good, with valuable comparisons to positions in the history of philosophy and contemporary debates. A very wise investment for moral and ancient philosophers." Theodore Scaltsas, University of Edinburgh
"Acute, close analysis characterizes Santas's book throughout...beautifully clear, a joy to read." MF Burnyeat, TLS, 14th June 2002
"... This book offers a capacious, clear and careful exploration of the centrality of concepts of the good to these two ancient philosophers (Plato, Aristotle), showing how ethics and politics drive epistemology and metaphysics and ... comparing the resulting structures with those of John Rawls and other modern theorists. The result is an impressive achievement..." Polis, Vol. 20, 2003
From the Back Cover
Goodness and Justice argues that goodness was the most fundamental normative concept in the ethics of Plato and Aristotle, and illustrates how they used their functional and formal theories of good to build their theories of virtue, justice, and happiness. It also shows that they fought subjective theories of good as desire satisfaction and good as pleasure, in favor of what they thought was a more objective concept of good found in form and function.
The comparisons with the moderns illuminate the merits and limits of ancient and modern ethical theories and place them within a broad philosophical and historical context.