Qohelet and the nature of morality: a meta-ethical framework for future research

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    The book of Ecclesiastes (here 'Qohelet'), like many other books of the Hebrew Bible, is often discussed with reference to its supposed 'ethics'. Within biblical scholarship, such research is often characterized by a meta-language filled with philosophically vague and fuzzy descriptive jargon, largely bereft of technical distinctions and nuance. One possible reason for this state of affairs may be the fact that Qohelet's assumptions about the nature of morality have never been studied against the backdrop of issues and theories in contemporary analytic meta-ethics. In response to this gap in the research, and with proposals for conceptual refinement in mind, this article offers the first ever meta-theoretical introduction to some of the semantic, ontological, epistemological and other related meta-ethical concerns and categories which may be of use in future analyses of the foundations of Qohelet's "ethics".