James Maffie Lecture: “The Role of Hardship (Ihiyohuiliztli) in Mexica Ethics, Or Why Being Good Has to Hurt”

Date / Time

March 8, 2021

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Mesoamerican Worldview and Intellectual Tradition Working Group

 James Maffie, University of Maryland

Monday, March 8, 2021 from 4 – 6 PM

“The Role of Hardship (Ihiyohuiliztli) in Mexica Ethics, Or Why Being Good Has to Hurt”

Philosophers in major Western and Eastern ethical traditions (e.g. utilitarianism and Buddhism) commonly predicate their theories of morality and the good life upon the assumption that hardship (exhaustion, pain, suffering, etc.) is intrinsically bad. The good life, the morally upright life, and the life worth living for human beings contain as little hardship as possible. By contrast, Mexica ethics denies hardship has intrinsic value and so denies it is intrinsically bad. Instead, its badness and goodness are determined contextually. What’s more, Mexica ethics maintains that hardship plays an essential and hence indispensable role as well as a creative and positive role in morally upright human behavior and in the well-lived, good human life. In short: doing the right thing and being good have to hurt.


You are invited to a Zoom meeting. 

When: Mar 8, 2021 04:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada) 

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