Questioning the usual judgements of political ethics, Ruth W. Grant argues that hypocrisy can actually be constructive while strictly principled behavior can be destructive. Hypocrisy and Integrity offers a new conceptual framework that clarifies the differences between idealism and fanaticism while it uncovers the moral limits of compromise.
"Exciting and provocative. . . . Grant's work is to be highly recommended, offering a fresh reading of Rousseau and Machiavelli as well as presenting a penetrating analysis of hypocrisy and integrity."—Ronald J. Terchek, American Political Science Review
"A great refreshment. . . . With liberalism's best interests at heart, Grant seeks to make available a better understanding of the limits of reason in politics."—Peter Berkowitz, New Republic
In Search of Goodness
Edited by Ruth W. Grant University of Chicago Press, 2011 Library of Congress BJ1401.I49 2011 | Dewey Decimal 170
The recent spate of books and articles reflecting on the question of evil might make one forget that the question of just what constitutes goodness is no less urgent or perplexing. Everyone wants to think of him- or herself as good. But what does a good life look like? And how do people become good? Are there multiple, competing possibilities for what counts as a good life, all equally worthy? Or, is there a unified and transcendent conception of the good that should guide our judgment of the possibilities? What does a good life look like when it is guided by God? How is a good life involved with the lives of others? And, finally, how good is good enough?
These questions are the focus of In Search of Goodness, the product of a year-long conversation about goodness. The eight essays in this volume challenge the dichotomies that usually govern how goodness has been discussed in the past: altruism versus egoism; reason versus emotion; or moral choice versus moral character. Instead, the contributors seek to expand the terms of the discussion by coming at goodness from a variety of perspectives: psychological, philosophic, literary, religious, and political. In each case, they emphasize the lived realities and particulars of moral phenomena, taking up examples and illustrations from life, literature, and film. From Achilles and Billy Budd, to Oskar Schindler and Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, to Iris Murdoch and the citizens of Flagstaff, Arizona, readers will find a wealth of thought-provoking insights to help them better understand this most basic, but complex, element of human life and happiness.
John Locke's Liberalism
Ruth W. Grant University of Chicago Press, 1987 Library of Congress JC153.L87G73 1987 | Dewey Decimal 320.5120924
In this work, Ruth W. Grant presents a new approach to John Locke's familiar works. Taking the unusual step of relating Locke's Two Treatises to his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Grant establishes the unity and coherence of Locke's political arguments. She analyzes the Two Treatises as a systematic demonstration of liberal principles of right and power and grounds it in the epistemology set forth in the Essay.
Naming Evil, Judging Evil
Edited by Ruth W. Grant University of Chicago Press, 2006 Library of Congress BJ1401.N36 2006 | Dewey Decimal 170
Is it more dangerous to call something evil or not to? This fundamental question deeply divides those who fear that the term oversimplifies grave problems and those who worry that, to effectively address such issues as terrorism and genocide, we must first acknowledge them as evil. Recognizing that the way we approach this dilemma can significantly affect both the harm we suffer and the suffering we inflict, a distinguished group of contributors engages in the debate with this series of timely and original essays.
Drawing on Western conceptions of evil from the Middle Ages to the present, these pieces demonstrate that, while it may not be possible to definitively settle moral questions, we are still able—and in fact are obligated—to make moral arguments and judgments. Using a wide variety of approaches, the authors raise tough questions: Why is so much evil perpetrated in the name of good? Could evil ever be eradicated? How can liberal democratic politics help us strike a balance between the need to pass judgment and the need to remain tolerant? Their insightful answers exemplify how the sometimes rarefied worlds of political theory, philosophy, theology, and history can illuminate pressing contemporary concerns.