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Rights and Goods: Justifying Social Action
by Virginia Held
University of Chicago Press, 1989
Paper: 978-0-226-32588-0
Library of Congress Classification JA79.H44 1989
Dewey Decimal Classification 172

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
Theories of justice, argues Virginia Held, are usually designed for a perfect, hypothetical world. They do not give us guidelines for living in an imperfect world in which the choices and decisions that we must make are seldom clear-cut.

Seeking a morality based on actual experience, Held offers a method of inquiry with which to deal with the specific moral problems encountered in daily life. She argues that the division between public and private morality is misleading and shows convincingly that moral judgment should be contextual. She maps out different approaches and positions for various types of issues, including membership in a state, legal decisions, political activities, economic transactions, interpersonal relations, diplomacy, journalism, and determining our obligation to future generations. Issues such as these provide the true test of moral theory, since its success is seen in the willingness of conscientious persons to commit themselves to it by acting on it in their daily lives.


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