“What Do People & Things Deserve?”
Number 2048. January 6, 2021
Dear Unknown Friends:
Here is part 2 of the landmark lecture Where Ethics Is, which Eli Siegel gave in 1974. In it Mr. Siegel—with his scholarship, and down-to-earthness, and depth, and kindness, and humor—looks at important writings on the subject, and he explains what ethics truly is. We see: Aesthetic Realism shows ethics to be much bigger, more powerful, more everyday, more organic, more beautiful, more mandatory, more inescapable, than people have taken it to be.
In this section, Mr. Siegel gives three definitions of ethics, the first of which I’ll quote now: “Ethics is the study of what the outside world deserves from you.” And he explains something shown by Aesthetic Realism, that ethics is aesthetics, in keeping with this principle: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” Ethics, if it’s the real thing, is always a oneness of the opposites self and world. Unless we feel taking care of our own self and being just to the world-not-us are the same, we’re not fully ethical, nor can we be truly at ease.
On What Should Economics Be Based?
In Where Ethics Is Mr. Siegel refers to the Goodbye Profit System lectures he was also giving at the time. And in this talk he presents the way of seeing ethics that was at their basis. Those lectures, and this one, have in them the means of understanding what’s taking place in the world’s economy today. He showed that profit economics, because of its unethical basis, had gotten to the point at which it no longer worked and never could again. . . Read more
The Right Of is edited by Ellen Reiss, Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, who is author of its commentaries.