Do we need restraint?


  • Petr Nesvadba


ethics, virtues, instrumentality, obscenity, postmodern society, shyness, restraint


The text is a contribution to the ethical-philosophical questioning about the premises of the virtues ethics of contemporary Western society. The author points to the ancient Greek ideal of restraint; emphasizes its gnoseological and moral dimension. A consistent expression of this tendency is the ancient Greek “aidós”, understood as a partial stepping aside, respect for something (someone). The rise of modern modernity is characterized by the author as the onset of an instrumental concept, whose expression is an unstoppable, “manly” approach to the world, to nature and to man himself, and omnipresent obscenity (in the sense of revealing “what has to be behind the scene”). The author interprets the “postmodern situation” of the contemporary West as ambivalent and calls for rediscovery of shyness as a humble attitude of life, opened to questions about the meaning of the world and the place of mankind in it.