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Forsaking the Mean for the Extreme: A Response to Provis

War, Peace and Organizational Ethics

ISBN: 978-1-83982-777-8, eISBN: 978-1-83982-776-1

Publication date: 17 September 2020


Chris Provis (2017) has discussed Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Mean and its counterpart in Confucianism. The Doctrine of the Mean informs an agent that ‘acting as a virtuous person will often be constituted by avoidance of choosing excess or deficiency’ (Provis, 2017, p. 118). Indeed, Provis (2017) argues against any act ‘oriented towards maximisation’ (p. 127). Provis’s (2017) focus is the encounter ‘between European and East Asian ethical traditions’ (p. 116). Our chapter is a response to Provis (2017). We respond to Provis (2017) by exploring a debate amongst Jewish scholars which originated in North Africa. Some of these scholars advocated Aristotle’s Mean. But others advocated forsaking that Mean and pursuing the extreme.



Schwartz, M. and Comer, D.R. (2020), "Forsaking the Mean for the Extreme: A Response to Provis", Schwartz, M. and Harris, H. (Ed.) War, Peace and Organizational Ethics (Research in Ethical Issues in Organizations, Vol. 23), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 151-162.



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