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Ethics and Politics in Contemporary Theory Between Critical Theory and Post-Marxism by Mark Devenney

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9    Ethics and politics in discourse theory

The Greek word ethos and the Latin word mos are both commonly translated as custom. They are also the respective etymological roots of the words ethics and morality. Despite their ‘customary’ meaning conventional use of these words presupposes the faculty to judge and guide actions with reference to principles, which transcend the deliberation of individuals in particular, communities. This tacit appeal to a universal law derives from religious and mythical worldviews which subordinate human law to the moral prescriptions of a being(s) or realm whose dictates are only ever approximated. On this account ethics presupposes distinctions between the divine and the human (the ultimate source of the law ...

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