Religious traditions in the United States are characterized by ongoing tension between assimilation to the broader culture, as typified by mainline Protestant churches, and defiant rejection of cultural incursions, as witnessed by more sectarian movements such as Mormonism and Hassidism. However, legal theorist and Catholic theologian Cathleen Kaveny contends there is a third possibility—a culture of engagement—that accommodates and respects tradition. It also recognizes the need to interact with culture to remain relevant and to offer critiques of social, political, legal, and economic practices.
Kaveny suggests that rather than avoid the crisscross of the religious and secular spheres of life, we should use this conflict as an opportunity to come together and to encounter, challenge, contribute to, and correct one another. Focusing on five broad areas of interest—Law as a Teacher, Religious Liberty and Its Limits, Conversations about Culture, Conversations about Belief, and Cases and Controversies—Kaveny demonstrates how thoughtful and purposeful engagement can contribute to rich, constructive, and difficult discussions between moral and cultural traditions.
This provocative collection of Kaveny's articles from Commonweal magazine, substantially revised and updated from their initial publication, provides astonishing insight into a range of hot-button issues like abortion, assisted suicide, government-sponsored torture, contraception, the Ashley Treatment, capital punishment, and the role of religious faith in a pluralistic society. At turns masterful, insightful, and inspirational, A Culture of Engagement is a welcome reminder of what can be gained when a diversity of experiences and beliefs is brought to bear on American public life.
AIDS and Africa are indelibly linked in popular consciousness, but despite widespread awareness of the epidemic, much of the story remains hidden beneath a superficial focus on condoms, sex workers, and antiretrovirals. Africa gets lost in this equation, Daniel Jordan Smith argues, transformed into a mere vehicle to explain AIDS, and in AIDS Doesn’t Show Its Face, he offers a powerful reversal, using AIDS as a lens through which to view Africa.
Drawing on twenty years of fieldwork in Nigeria, Smith tells a story of dramatic social changes, ones implicated in the same inequalities that also factor into local perceptions about AIDS—inequalities of gender, generation, and social class. Nigerians, he shows, view both social inequality and the presence of AIDS in moral terms, as kinds of ethical failure. Mixing ethnographies that describe everyday life with pointed analyses of public health interventions, he demonstrates just how powerful these paired anxieties—medical and social—are, and how the world might better alleviate them through a more sensitive understanding of their relationship.
Presents a collection of papers by economists theorizing on the roles of altruism and morality versus self-interest in the shaping of human behavior and institutions. Specifically, the authors examine why some persons behave in an altruistic way without any apparent reward, thus defying the economist's model of utility maximization. The chapters are accompanied by commentaries from representatives of other disciplines, including law and philosophy.
Can one be happy and free, and nonetheless be moral? This question occurs at the core of daily life and is, as well, a question as old as philosophy itself. In Can Virtue Make Us Happy? The Art of Living and Morality, Otfried Höffe, one of Europe’s most well-known philosophers, offers a far-reaching and foundational work in philosophical ethics.
As long as one understands "happiness" purely as a feeling of subjective well-being, Höffe argues, there is at best only an accidental unity between it and morality. However, if one means by "happiness" the quality of doing well in the sense of one’s own successful existence, then one must include actions that undoubtedly have a moral character and are named virtues. He uses clear and general language to present what one understands by "happiness" and "freedom" while illuminating the blind alleys in the history of philosophy as well as the difficulties raised by the issues themselves. What has priority: good ends or right action? Is freedom always anarchy? Is it possible to think of a freedom enhanced by morality? Is "morality" only a pretty word for stupidity? Does humanity have a good or a bad character? Is there such a thing as evil? Höffe offers us enlightened philosophical reflection and foundational orientation but no simple formulas; this is precisely what is at stake because anyone who wishes to live a self-determined life rejects any and all formulas.
In Childerley a twelfth-century church rises above the rolling quilt of pastures and grain fields. Volvos and tractors share the winding country roads. Here, in this small village two hours from London, stockbrokers and stock-keepers live side by side in thatched cottages, converted barns, and modern homes.
Why do these villagers find country living so compelling? Why, despite our urban lives, do so many of us strive for a home in the country, closer to nature? Michael Bell suggests that we are looking for a natural conscience: an unshakeable source of identity and moral value that is free from social interests—comfort and solace and a grounding of self in a world of conflict and change.
During his interviews with over a hundred of Childerley's 475 residents—both working-class and professional—Bell heard time and again of their desire to be "country people" and of their anxiety over their class identities. Even though they often knowingly participate in class discrimination themselves—and see their neighbors doing the same—most Childerleyans feel a deep moral ambivalence over class. Bell argues they find in class and its conflicts the restraints and workings of social interests and feel that by living "close to nature" they have an alternative: the identity of a "country person," a "villager that the natural consicence gives."
Yet there are clear parallels between the ways in which the villagers conceive of nature and of social life, and Bell traces these parallels across Childerleyans' perspectives on class, gender, and politics. Where conventional theories would suggest that what the villagers see as nature is a reflection of how they see society, and that the natural conscience must be a product of social interests, Bell argues that ideological processes are more complex. Childerleyans' understandings of society and of the natural conscience shape each other, says Bell, through a largely intuitive process he calls resonance.
For anyone who has ever lived in the countryside or considered doing so, this book is not to be missed. It will also be of particular interest to scholars of British studies and the sociology of knowledge and culture, and to those who work on problems of environment, community, class, and rural life.
"[An] exemplary piece of fieldwork. . . . These gentle conclusions . . . reminds us (when we most need reminding) of the skillful ethnographer's enduring capacity to make the everyday seem truly extraordinary."—Laurie Taylor, New Statesman & Society
"Bell's achievement, and his perceptions, are impressive."—J.W.M. Thompson, London Times
"Races along with all the gossipy compulsion of a blockbuster."—Frances Hardy, Daily Mill
"I believe this view of how people relate to the different domains of their experience is absolutely right. . . . The reader, this ready anyway, finishes Childerley with the feeling that she has just returned from visiting a remote Hampshire village and has learned something, not just about that place, but about human social life lived in other places and lived through place itself."—Wendy Griswold, American Journal of Sociology
In this vivid ethnography, Jessaca B. Leinaweaver explores “child circulation,” informal arrangements in which indigenous Andean children are sent by their parents to live in other households. At first glance, child circulation appears tantamount to child abandonment. When seen in that light, the practice is a violation of international norms regarding children’s rights, guidelines that the Peruvian state relies on in regulating legal adoptions. Leinaweaver demonstrates that such an understanding of the practice is simplistic and misleading. Her in-depth ethnographic analysis reveals child circulation to be a meaningful, pragmatic social practice for poor and indigenous Peruvians, a flexible system of kinship that has likely been part of Andean lives for centuries. Child circulation may be initiated because parents cannot care for their children, because a childless elder wants company, or because it gives a young person the opportunity to gain needed skills.
Leinaweaver provides insight into the emotional and material factors that bring together and separate indigenous Andean families in the highland city of Ayacucho. She describes how child circulation is intimately linked to survival in the city, which has had to withstand colonialism, economic isolation, and the devastating civil war unleashed by the Shining Path. Leinaweaver examines the practice from the perspective of parents who send their children to live in other households, the adults who receive them, and the children themselves. She relates child circulation to international laws and norms regarding children’s rights, adoptions, and orphans, and to Peru’s history of racial conflict and violence. Given that history, Leinaweaver maintains that it is not surprising that child circulation, a practice associated with Peru’s impoverished indigenous community, is alternately ignored, tolerated, or condemned by the state.
Alan Gewirth's Reason and Morality, in which he set forth the Principle of Generic Consistency, is a major work of modern ethical theory that, though much debated and highly respected, has yet to gain full acceptance. Deryck Beyleveld contends that this resistance stems from misunderstanding of the method and logical operations of Gewirth's central argument. In this book Beyleveld seeks to remedy this deficiency. His rigorous reconstruction of Gewirth's argument gives its various parts their most compelling formulation and clarifies its essential logical structure.
Beyleveld then classifies all the criticisms that Gewirth's argument has received and measures them against his reconstruction of the argument. The overall result is an immensely rich picture of the argument, in which all of its complex issues and key moves are clearly displayed and its validity can finally be discerned.
The comprehensiveness of Beyleveld's treatment provides ready access to the entire debate surrounding the foundational argument of Reason and Morality. It will be required reading for all who are interested in Gewirth's theory and deontological ethics and will be of central importance to moral and legal theorists.
The first book-length rhetorical history and analysis of the insanity defense
The insanity defense is considered one of the most controversial, most misunderstood, and least straightforward subjects in the American legal system. Disorder in the Court: Morality, Myth, and the Insanity Defense traces the US legal standards for the insanity defense as they have evolved from 1843, when they were first codified in England, to 1984, when the US government attempted to revise them through the Insanity Defense Reform Act. Throughout this period “insanity” existed primarily as a legal term rather than a medical one; yet the testimony of psychiatric experts is required in cases in which an insanity defense is raised.
The adjudication of such cases by courtroom practice is caught between two different but overlapping discourses, the legal and the medical, both of which have historically sought to assert and maintain firm disciplinary boundaries. Both expert and lay audiences have struggled to understand and apply commonplace definitions of sanity, and the portrayal of the insanity defense in popular culture has only served to further frustrate such understandings.
Andrea L. Alden argues that the problems with understanding the insanity defense are, at their foundation, rhetorical. The legal concept of what constitutes insanity and, therefore, an abdication of responsibility for one’s actions does not map neatly onto the mental health professions’ understandings of mental illness and how that affects an individual’s ability to understand or control his or her actions. Additionally, there are multiple layers of persuasion involved in any effort to convince a judge, jury—or a public, for that matter—that a defendant is or is not responsible for his or her actions at a particular moment in time.
Alden examines landmark court cases such as the trial of Daniel McNaughtan, Durham v. United States, and the trial of John Hinckley Jr. that signal the major shifts in the legal definitions of the insanity defense. Combining archival, textual, and rhetorical analysis, Alden offers a close reading of texts including trial transcripts, appellate court opinions, and relevant medical literature from the time period. She contextualizes these analyses through popular texts—for example, newspaper articles and editorials—showing that while all societies have maintained some version of mental illness as a mitigating factor in their penal systems, the insanity defense has always been fraught with controversy.
"The Emergence of Morality in Young Children is one of very few scholarly books concerning the development of moral tendencies in the early years. In its pages, a diverse group of eminent social and behavioral scientists address this fascinating topic and struggle with issues of inquiry that have persistently plagued this field."—Nancy Eisenberg, Harvard Educational Review
"This is a welcome and immensely provocative book. For those of us who favor ethical theorizing done in close proximity to psychology and anthropology, it provides new and illuminating theory and research relevant to perennial debates about the origins of moral sense, its psychological organization, and the objectivity and unity of the moral."—Owen Flanagan, Ethics
The contributors are Augusto Blasi, Lawrence Blum, Judy Dunn, M. Ann Easterbrooks, Carolyn Pope Edwards, Robert Emde, Carol Gilligan, Charles C. Helwig, William F. Johnson, Jerome Kagan, Melanie Killen, Sharon Lamb, Manamohan Mahapatra, Joan G. Miller, Edward Mueller, Richard A. Shweder, Catherine Snow, Elliot Turiel, and Grant Wiggins.
Emile Durkheim is best known in this country as a great sociologist and methodologist. Yet it was Durkheim's reflections on morality and society that spoke most deeply of his vital concerns. In his informative introduction to this work, Robert N. Bellah describes Durkheim as moralist, philosopher, theologian, and prophet, as well as sociologist, and the selections in this volume are representative of these aspects of Durkheim's many-faceted scholarship.
The first two selections of the volume set the context for the development of Durkheim's sociology of morality. Section I, "The French Tradition of Social Thought," gives Durkheim's picture of how his sociology is to be situated relative to the general French tradition. Section II, "Sociology and Social Action," shows Durkheim grappling with moral and political issues in his society and indicates the immediate social context of his thinking.
The remaining selections indicate some of the major substantive areas of Durkheim's sociology of morality. Section III, taken from The Division of Labor in Society, demonstrates his basically evolutionary approach to the development of moral norms in society. Section IV, "The Learning of Morality," gives examples of Durkheim's work on socialization. Section V, "Social Creativity," deals with the important question of how new moral norms arise in society.
A central concern of nearly every environmental ethic is its desire to extend the scope of direct moral concern beyond human beings to plants, nonhuman animals, and the systems of which they are a part. Although nearly all environmental philosophies have long since rejected modernity’s conception of individuals as isolated and independent substances, few have replaced this worldview with an alternative that is adequate to the organic, processive world in which we find ourselves. In this context, Brian G. Henning argues that the often overlooked work of Alfred North Whitehead has the potential to make a significant contribution to environmental ethics. Additionally inspired by classical American philosophers such as William James, John Dewey and Charles Sanders Pierce and environmental philosophers such as Aldo Leopold, Peter Singer, Albert Schweitzer, and Arne Naess, Henning develops an ethical theory of which the seminal insight is called “The Ethics of Creativity.”
By systematically examining and developing a conception of individuality that is equally at home with the microscopic world of subatomic events and the macroscopic world of ecosystems, The Ethics of Creativity correctly emphasizes the well-being of wholes, while not losing sight of the importance of the unique centers of value that constitute these wholes. In this way, The Ethics of Creativity has the potential to be a unique voice in contemporary moral philosophy.
“The Forest of Taboos may be considered among the most important books ever written by an anthropologist. Valeri writes superbly, and this book makes a fundamental contribution to one of the most central lines of thought in twentieth-century anthropology. He shows that taboo is finally comprehensible.”—John Stephen Lansing, University of Michigan
“The Forest of Taboos is no conventional ethnography, more an extended meditative essay on its subject, erudite, rich in ideas and data, wide-ranging in its theoretical inspiration, and self-consciously literary in form. It is a fitting memorial to an author whose life was so tragically cut short.”—Roy Ellen, University of Kent at Canterbury
This eloquent and profound book, completed by Valerio Valeri shortly before his death in 1998, contends that the ambivalence felt by all humans about sex, death, and eating other animals can be explained by a set of coordinated principles that are expressed in taboos. In elegant prose, Valeri evokes the world of the Huaulu, forest hunters of Indonesia. The hidden attractions of the animal world, which invades the human world in perilous ways, he shows, also delineate that which the Huaulu regard as most human about themselves.
A milestone work in Christian
"As a critic of the contemporary
theological scene, Van Harvey has few, if any, competitors. This is nowhere
clearer than in The Historian and the Believer . . . the classic
discussion of its topic. Rich in insight and penetrating in argument,
it is one book that belongs in the library of every theologian and seminarian."
-- Schubert M. Ogden, author of Doing Theology Today
Is it possible to be both
a historian and a Christian? Van Harvey's classic The Historian and the Believer posed that question when it was first published.
In this printing, the author
has provided a new introduction in which he reflects on how he would reframe
his original argument in order to bring out more fully the basic theological
intention underlying his view that Christian faith cannot rest on dubious
historical claims. From reviews of the first edition:
"Probably the most interesting
piece of American theological writing to appear this year." -- John
Reumann, Union Seminary Quarterly Review
Contemporary arguments about Jewish law uniquely reflect both the story of Jewish modernity and a crucial premise of modern conceptions of law generally: the claim of autonomy for the intellectual subject and practical sphere of the law. Jewish Legal Theories collects representative modern Jewish writings on law and provides short commentaries and annotations on these writings that situate them within Jewish thought and history, as well as within modern legal theory. The topics addressed by these documents include Jewish legal theory from the modern nation-state to its adumbration in the forms of Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism in the German-Jewish context; the development of Jewish legal philosophy in Eastern Europe beginning in the eighteenth century; Ultra-Orthodox views of Jewish law premised on the rejection of the modern nation-state; the role of Jewish law in Israel; and contemporary feminist legal theory.
In the first book to critically examine each of the fourteen feature films Sam Peckinpah directed during his career, Michael Bliss stresses the persistent moral and structural elements that permeate Peckinpah’s work.
By examining the films in great detail, Bliss makes clear the moral framework of temptation and redemption with which Peckinpah was concerned while revealing the director’s attention to narrative. Bliss shows that each of Peckinpah’s protagonists is involved with attempting, in the words of Ridethe High Country’s Steve Judd, "to enter my house justified."
The validity of this systematic method is clearly demonstrated in the chapter devoted to The Wild Bunch. Byenumerating the doublings and triplings of action and dialogue found in the film, Bliss underscores its symbolic and structural complexity. Beginning the chapters treating Junior Bonner and The Getaway with analyses of their important title sequences, Bliss shows how these frequently disregarded pieces present in miniature the major moral and narrative concerns of the films. In his chapter on The Osterman Weekend, Bliss makes apparent Peckinpahs awareness of and concern with the self-reflexive nature of filmmaking itself.
Bliss shows that like John Ford, Peckinpah moved from optimism to pessimism. The films of the director’s early period, from The Deadly Companions to Cable Hogue, support the romantic ideals of adventure and camaraderie and affirm a potential for goodness in America. In his second group of films, which begins with Straw Dogs and ends with Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, both heroes and hope have vanished. It is only in The Osterman Weekend that Peckinpah appears finally to have renewed his capacity for hope, allowing his career to close in a positive way.
Research physicians face intractable dilemmas when they consider introducing new medical procedures. Innovations carry the promise of preventing or curing life-threatening diseases, but they can also lead to injury or even death. How have clinical scientists made high-stakes decisions about undertaking human tests of new medical treatments? In Lesser Harms, Sydney Halpern explores this issue as she examines vaccine trials in America during the early and mid-twentieth century.
Today's scientists follow federal guidelines for research on human subjects developed during the 1960s and 1970s. But long before these government regulations, medical investigators observed informal rules when conducting human research. They insisted that the dangers of natural disease should outweigh the risks of a medical intervention, and they struggled to accurately assess the relative hazards. Halpern explores this logic of risk in immunization controversies extending as far back as the eighteenth century. Then, focusing on the period between 1930 and 1960, she shows how research physicians and their sponsors debated the moral quandaries involved in moving vaccine use from the laboratory to the clinic.
This probing work vividly describes the efforts of clinical investigators to balance the benefits and dangers of untested vaccines, to respond to popular sentiment about medical hazards, and to strategically present risk laden research to sponsors and the public.
“Concise and extremely well-written. . . . A fascinating synthesis of sociology, history, and institutional theory.”—Samuel C. Blackman, Journal of the American Medical Association
Engage compelling arguments that challenge prominent positions in Pauline studies
In this innovative book, William E. W. Robinson takes the reader on a journey through Romans 8:1–17 using Conceptual Metaphor Theory and Conceptual Integration Theory. Robinson delineates the underlying cognitive metaphors, their structure, their function, what they mean, and how Paul’s audiences then and now are able to comprehend their meaning. He examines each metaphor in the light of relevant aspects of the Greco-Roman world and Paul’s Jewish background. Robinson contends that Paul portrays the Spirit as the principal agent in the religious-ethical life of believers. At the same time, his analysis demonstrates that the conceptual metaphors in Romans 8:1–17 convey the integral role of believers in ethical conduct. In the process, he addresses thorny theological issues such as whether Spirit and flesh signal an internal battle within believers or two conflicting ways of life. Finally, Robinson shows how this study is relevant to related Pauline passages and challenges scholars to incorporate these methods into their own investigation of biblical texts.
Sustained argument that sheds new light on how Paul communicates with his audiences
Substantial contribution to current debates about central theological concepts
Conceptual Metaphor Theory and Conceptual Integration Theory applied to the metaphors in Romans 8:1-17
Morality & Imagination
Yi-Fu Tuan University of Wisconsin Press, 1989 Library of Congress BJ1031.T77 1989 | Dewey Decimal 170
Can the individual and society be both moral and imaginative? In Western society the moral person tends to be regarded as either simple and naive or narrow and bigoted. In contrast, the imaginative person is looked on as someone not bound by the customs of the group and therefore likely to be fanciful and out of touch with reality.
When Morality and Architecture was first published in 1977, it received passionate praise and equally passionate criticism. An editorial in Apollo, entitled "The Time Bomb," claimed that "it deserved to become a set book in art school and University art history departments," and the Times Literary Supplement savaged it as an example of "that kind of vindictiveness of which only Christians seem capable."
Here, for the first time, is the story of the book's impact. In writing his groundbreaking polemic, David Watkin had taken on the entire modernist establishment, tracing it back to Pugin, Viollet-le-Duc, Corbusier, and others who claimed that their chosen style had to be truthful and rational, reflecting society's needs. Any critic of this style was considered antisocial and immoral. Only covertly did the giants of the architectural establishment support the author. Watkin gives an overview of what has happened since the book's publication, arguing that many of the old fallacies still persist. This return to the attack is a revelation for anyone concerned architecture's past and future.
Morality and Architecture Revisited contains the entire text of the book Morality and Architecture , plus additonal material by David Wakin on the controversy that the the book created.
Plato asked, "How shall a man live?" In this volume, Robert J. McShea offers an important, serious, and controversial answer to that perennial question. In this inquiry into the origins of human values, the author argues that values are based on emotions rather than on reason. The human ability to recall the past, to imagine future consequences of actions, and to be aware simultaneously of present, past, and probable future feelings form the basis of moral judgments. What is truly valuable to humans is a consequence of their species nature; thus, moral theory is the study of that nature. This is what McShea calls the human nature tradition, from "know thyself": to "the noblest study of man is man." Using ethology (studies of animal behavior), the author seeks to remind the reader of the significance of species being to the understanding of all creatures, and thus of ourselves. In viewing moral values as arising from human nature, McShea challenges a number of influential theories-notably, the belief that values are products of culture. Written out of a growing sense that our society finds itself in a moral and social limbo, Morality and Human Nature aurges that we start afresh and calls us to a continual reassessment of mores and social practices in the light of their adaptability to human feeling.
A concise and accessible introduction to natural law ethics, this book introduces readers to the mainstream tradition of Western moral philosophy. Building on philosophers from Plato through Aquinas to John Finnis, Alfonso Gómez-Lobo links morality to the protection of basic human goods--life, family, friendship, work and play, the experience of beauty, knowledge, and integrity--elements essential to a flourishing, happy human life.
Gómez-Lobo begins with a discussion of Plato's Crito as an introduction to the practice of moral philosophy, showing that it requires that its participants treat each other as equals and offer rational arguments to persuade each other. He then puts forth a general principle for practical rationality: one should pursue what is good and avoid what is bad. The human goods form the basis for moral norms that provide a standard by which actions can be evaluated: do they support or harm the human goods? He argues that moral norms should be understood as a system of rules whose rationale is the protection and enhancement of human goods. A moral norm that does not enjoin the preservation or enhancement of a specific good is unjustifiable. Shifting to a case study approach, Gómez-Lobo applies these principles to a discussion of abortion and euthanasia. The book ends with a brief treatment of rival positions, including utilitarianism and libertarianism, and of conscience as our ultimate moral guide.
Written as an introductory text for students of ethics and natural law, Morality and the Human Goods makes arguments consistent with Catholic teaching but is not based on theological considerations. The work falls squarely within the field of philosophical ethics and will be of interest to readers of any background.
Morality and the Mail in Nineteenth-Century America explores the evolution of postal innovations that sparked a communication revolution in nineteenth-century America. Wayne E. Fuller examines how evangelical Protestants, the nation’s dominant religious group, struggled against those transformations in American society that they believed threatened to paganize the Christian nation they were determined to save.
Drawing on House and Senate documents, postmasters general reports, and the Congressional Record, as well as sermons, speeches, and articles from numerous religious and secular periodicals, Fuller illuminates the problems the changed postal system posed for evangelicals, from Sunday mail delivery and Sunday newspapers to an avalanche of unseemly material brought into American homes via improved mail service and reduced postage prices. Along the way, Fuller offers new perspectives on the church and state controversy in the United States as well as on publishing, politics, birth control, the lottery, censorship, Congress’s postal power, and the waning of evangelical Protestant influence.
In TheMorality of Everyday Life, Thomas Fleming offers an alternative to the enlightened liberalism espoused by thinkers as different as Kant, Mill, Rand, and Rawls. Philosophers in the liberal tradition, although they disagree on many important questions, agree that moral and political problems should be looked at from an objective point of view and a decision made from a rational perspective that is universally applied to all comparable cases.
Fleming instead places importance on the particular, the local, and moral complexity. He advocates a return to premodern traditions, such as those exemplified in the texts of Aristotle, the Talmud, and the folk wisdom in ancient Greek literature, for a solution to ethical predicaments. In his view, liberalism and postmodernism ignore the fact that human beings by their very nature refuse to live in a world of universal abstractions.
While such modern philosophers as Kant and Kohlberg have regarded a mother’s self-sacrificing love for her children as beneath their level of morality, folk wisdom tells us it is nearly the highest morality, taking precedence over the duties of citizenship or the claims of humanity. Fleming believes that a modern type of “casuistry” should be applied to these moral conflicts in which the line between right and wrong is rarely clear.
This volume will appeal to students of ethics and classics, as well as the general educated reader, who will appreciate Fleming’s jargon-free prose. Teachers will find this text useful because each chapter is a self-contained essay that could be used as the basis for classroom discussion.
"[A] timely and important book.... These thoughtful essays surely will shape the debate about morality in higher education for years to come and provide guidance in the quest to improve the quality of campus Iife."
--Ernest L. Boyer, President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
This book, the first of its kind, consists of fourteen original essays by noted American philosophers critically investigating crucial moral issues generated by academic life. The authors ask: What are the standards of conduct appropriate in class-rooms, departmental meetings, and faculty meetings, in grading students, evaluating colleagues, and engaging in research?
"The need for appropriate, sustained, philosophical analyses and examinations of practical ethics dilemmas in academic life undoubtedly is required since the reporting of questionable conduct alone does little to resolve the problem. This book of essays provides a vehicle for beginning this sustained investigation."
--Betty A. Sichel, Long Island University
"The essays address neglected matters which not only should, but I believe will, be of interest to academics...and perhaps a few administrators, which would be a very good thing indeed."
--Hans Oberdiek, Swarthmore College
Technology permeates nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Cars enable us to travel long distances, mobile phones help us to communicate, and medical devices make it possible to detect and cure diseases. But these aids to existence are not simply neutral instruments: they give shape to what we do and how we experience the world. And because technology plays such an active role in shaping our daily actions and decisions, it is crucial, Peter-Paul Verbeek argues, that we consider the moral dimension of technology.
Moralizing Technology offers exactly that: an in-depth study of the ethical dilemmas and moral issues surrounding the interaction of humans and technology. Drawing from Heidegger and Foucault, as well as from philosophers of technology such as Don Ihde and Bruno Latour, Peter-Paul Verbeek locates morality not just in the human users of technology but in the interaction between us and our machines. Verbeek cites concrete examples, including some from his own life, and compellingly argues for the morality of things. Rich and multifaceted, and sure to be controversial, Moralizing Technology will force us all to consider the virtue of new inventions and to rethink the rightness of the products we use every day.
Hans Jonas (1903-93) was a German Jew, pupil of Heidegger and Bultmann, lifelong friend and colleague of Hannah Arendt at the New School for Social Research, and one of the most prominent thinkers of his generation. The range of his topics never obscures their unifying thread: that our mortality is at the root of our moral responsibility to safeguard humanity's future. Mortality and Morality both consummates and demonstrates the basic thrust of Jonas's thought: the inseparability of ethics and metaphysics, the reality of values at the center of being.
No Morality, No Self
James Doyle Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress B1618.A574D69 2017 | Dewey Decimal 126
Elizabeth Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy” and “The First Person” have become touchstones of analytic philosophy but their significance remains controversial or misunderstood. James Doyle offers a fresh interpretation of Anscombe’s theses about ethical reasoning and individual identity that reconciles seemingly incompatible points of view.
How do victims and perpetrators of political violence caught up in a complicated legal battle experience justice on their own terms? Phenomenal Justice is a compelling ethnography about the reopened trials for crimes against humanity committed during the brutal military dictatorship that ruled Argentina between 1976 and 1983. Grounded in phenomenological anthropology and the anthropology of emotion, this book establishes a new theoretical basis that is faithful to the uncertainties of justice and truth in the aftermath of human rights violations. The ethnographic observations and the first-person stories about torture, survival, disappearance, and death reveal the enduring trauma, heartfelt guilt, happiness, battered pride, and scratchy shame that demonstrate the unreserved complexities of truth and justice in post-conflict societies. Phenomenal Justice will be an indispensable contribution to a better understanding of the military dictatorship in Argentina and its aftermath.
Winner, the 2017 Adele E. Clarke Book Award from Repronetwork
After the fall of the state socialist regime and the end of martial law in 1989, Polish society experienced both a sense of relief from the tyranny of Soviet control and an expectation that democracy would bring freedom. After this initial wave of enthusiasm, however, political forces that had lain concealed during the state socialist era began to emerge and establish a new religious-nationalist orthodoxy. While Solidarity garnered most of the credit for democratization in Poland, it had worked quietly with the Catholic Church, to which a large majority of Poles at least nominally adhered. As the church emerged as a political force in the Polish Sejm and Senate, it precipitated a rapid erosion of women’s reproductive rights, especially the right to abortion, which had been relatively well established under the former regime.
The Politics of Morality is an anthropological study of this expansion of power by the religious right and its effects on individual rights and social mores. It explores the contradictions of postsocialist democratization in Poland: an emerging democracy on one hand, and a declining tolerance for reproductive rights, women’s rights, and political and religious pluralism on the other. Yet, as this thoroughly researched study shows, women resist these strictures by pursuing abortion illegally, defying religious prohibitions on contraception, and organizing into advocacy groups. As struggles around reproductive rights continue in Poland, these resistances and unofficial practices reveal the sharp limits of religious form of governance.
Profits and Morality
Edited by Robin Cowan and Mario J. Rizzo University of Chicago Press, 1995 Library of Congress HB601.P8854 1995 | Dewey Decimal 174.4
Are profits morally justifiable? While neoclassical economists have traditionally endorsed the pursuit of profits, many moral philosophers have challenged profit making on a variety of ethical grounds. Through the lenses of economics, philosophy, and law, these six essays explore the morality of profits from libertarian, utilitarian, and consequentialist perspectives.
Presenting arguments for and against the morality of profit making, the contributors examine the nature of profits and which ethical theories can support them. Two essays address how profits are made: one explores entrepreneurship as a legitimate source of profit, while another argues that recent advances in welfare economics weaken the case for the morality of profits. The other chapters focus on ethical theory, covering the right to profits from economic rent; the morality of how profits are used—those directed toward library or university endowments, for example, are considered morally acceptable—and whether or not profits are deserved.
Radio, Morality, and Culture: Britain, Canada, and the United States, 1919–1945 examines the moral controversies surrounding radio’s development during its formative years. In comparing the fledgling medium in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States, Robert S. Fortner documents how the church failed to participate in radio’s moral development and instead engaged in internecine warfare over issues of legitimacy and orthodoxy.
The church was arguing about theological turf and dealing with internal disputes while radio policy was being developed and communications history was being written. Fortner reveals how the church, doomed to play little more than a bit part in the future of radio, eventually lost its voice altogether in the continuing development of electronic media. Fortner effectively synthesizes cultural history and theory, communication studies, and the role religious organizations played in shaping the content and character of early radio. Geared to scholars of history, communications, and theology, Radio, Morality, and Culture provides a useful resource for research, scholarship, and public policy.
Reason and Morality
Alan Gewirth University of Chicago Press, 1982 Library of Congress BJ1012.G47 | Dewey Decimal 171.2
"Most modern philosophers attempt to solve the problem of morality from within the epistemological assumptions that define the dominant cultural perspective of our age. Alan Gewirth's Reason and Morality is a major work in this ongoing enterprise. Gewirth develops, with patience and skill, what he calls a 'modified naturalism' in which morality is derived by logic alone from the concept of action. . . . I think that the publication of Reason and Morality is a major event in the history of moral philosophy. It develops with great power a new and exciting position in ethical naturalism. No one, regardless of philosophical stance, can read this work without an enlargement of mind. It illuminates morality and agency for all."—E. M. Adams, The Review of Metaphysics
"This is a fascinating study of an apparently intractable problem. Gewirth has provided plenty of material for further discussion, and his theory deserves serious consideration. He is always aware of possible rejoinders and argues in a rigorous manner, showing a firm grasp of the current state of moral and political philosophy."—Mind
A valuable resource for anthropologists, ethnohistorians, and western historians who wish to better understand ritual life in the Plains region. —Western Historical Quarterly
"Harrod's discussion of kinship and reciprocity in Northwest Plains cosmology contains valuable insight into Native American worldview, and his emphasis on the moral dimension of ritual process is a major addition to the too-often ignored subject of Native American moral life." —Journal of Religion
"Includes the major works on Blackfoot, Crow, Cheyennes, and Arapaho religion, the works to which anyone who wishes to understand the religious life of these tribes must continue to turn." —Choice
"Plains people, Harrod suggests, refracted nature and conceived an environmental ethic through a metaphor of kinship. He is particularly skillful in characterizing the ambiguity Plains people expressed at the necessity of killing and eating their animal kin. Renewing the World also contributes to another new and uncultivated science we might call 'ecology of mind'." —Great Plains Quarterly
The Rhetoric of Morality and Philosophy, one of the most groundbreaking works of twentieth-century Platonic studies, is now back in print for a new generation of students and scholars to discover. In this volume, distinguished classicist Seth Benardete interprets and pairs two important Platonic dialogues, the Gorgias and the Phaedrus, illuminating Socrates’ notion of rhetoric and Plato’s conception of morality and eros in the human soul.
Following his discussion of the Gorgias as a dialogue about the rhetoric of morality, Benardete turns to the Phaedrus as a discourse about genuine rhetoric, namely the science of eros, or true philosophy. This novel interpretation addresses numerous issues in Plato studies: the relation between the structure of the Gorgias and the image of soul/city in the Republic, the relation between the structure of Phaedrus and the concept of eros, and Socrates’ notion of ignorance, among others.
Much of what we could do, we shouldn’t—and we don’t. Mark Osiel shows that common morality—expressed as shame, outrage, and stigma—is society’s first line of defense against transgressions. Social norms can be indefensible, but when they complement the law, they can save us from an alternative that is far worse: a repressive legal regime.
Rules perform a moral function by restating moral principles in concrete terms, so as to reduce the uncertainty, error, and controversy that result when individuals follow their own unconstrained moral judgment. Although reason dictates that we must follow rules to avoid destructive error and controversy, rules—and hence laws—are imperfect, and reason also dictates that we ought not follow them when we believe they produce the wrong result in a particular case. In The Rule of Rules Larry Alexander and Emily Sherwin examine this dilemma. Once the importance of this moral and practical conflict is acknowledged, the authors argue, authoritative rules become the central problems of jurisprudence. The inevitable gap between rules and background morality cannot be bridged, they claim, although many contemporary jurisprudential schools of thought are misguided attempts to do so. Alexander and Sherwin work through this dilemma, which lies at the heart of such ongoing jurisprudential controversies as how judges should reason in deciding cases, what effect should be given to legal precedent, and what status, if any, should be accorded to “legal principles.” In the end, their rigorous discussion sheds light on such topics as the nature of interpretation, the ancient dispute among legal theorists over natural law versus positivism, the obligation to obey law, constitutionalism, and the relation between law and coercion. Those interested in jurisprudence, legal theory, and political philosophy will benefit from the edifying discussion in The Rule of Rules.
In his Descent of Man , Charles Darwin placed sympathy at the crux of morality in a civilized human society. His idea buttressed the belief that white, upper-class, educated men deserved their sense of superiority by virtue of good breeding. It also implied that societal progress could be steered by envisioning a new blueprint for sympathy that redefined moral actions carried out in sympathy's name. Rob Boddice joins a daring intellectual history of sympathy to a portrait of how the first Darwinists defined and employed it. As Boddice shows, their interpretations of Darwin's ideas sparked a cacophonous discourse intent on displacing previous notions of sympathy. Scientific and medical progress demanded that "cruel" practices like vivisection and compulsory vaccination be seen as moral for their ultimate goal of alleviating suffering. Some even saw the so-called unfit--natural targets of sympathy--as a danger to society and encouraged procreation by the "fit" alone. Right or wrong, these early Darwinists formed a moral economy that acted on a new system of ethics, reconceptualized obligations, and executed new duties. Boddice persuasively argues that the bizarre, even dangerous formulations of sympathy they invented influence society and civilization in the present day.
The Scope of Morality
Peter A. French University of Minnesota Press, 1980 Library of Congress BJ37.F63 | Dewey Decimal 170
The Scope of Morality was first published in 1980. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The scope of morality, Peter A. French contends, is much narrower than many traditional and contemporary works in ethical theory suggest. We trivialize morality if we think it has something to say about everything we do; it touches us all, but not at all times.
This essay in philosophical ethics focuses upon the origin, purpose, and function of the various concepts to be found in a more or less mature morality. The author draws a distinction between moral concepts that arise from an individual's wish to live a worthwhile life and those directed towards the development of virtue in the moral community. Moral concepts, in his view, are subjective creations of human beings rather than laws with an objective basis in nature. The ethics of sociobiology, of the lifeboat and spaceship models, and of game theory all come under his critical eye in this useful and progressive work. The Scope of Morality, says Hector-Neri Castaneda, "represents a serious effort at discussing the nature of morality, taking into account the most important contributions of recent writers."
The American war in Vietnam was one of the most morally contentious events of the twentieth century, and it produced an extraordinary outpouring of poetry. Yet the complex ethical terrain of the conflict is remarkably underexplored, and the prodigious poetic voice of its American participants remains largely unheard. In A Shadow on Our Hearts, Adam Gilbert rectifies these oversights by utilizing the vast body of soldier-poetry to examine the war's core moral issues.
The soldier-poets provide important insights into the ethical dimensions of their physical and psychological surroundings before, during, and after the war. They also offer profound perspectives on the relationships between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people. From firsthand experiences, they reflect on what it meant to be witnesses, victims, and perpetrators of the war's violence. And they advance an uncompromising vision of moral responsibility that indicts a range of culprits for the harms caused by the conflict. Gilbert explores the powerful and perceptive work of these soldier-poets through the lens of morality and presents a radically alternative, deeply personal, and ethically penetrating account of the American war in Vietnam.
The Theory of Morality
Alan Donagan University of Chicago Press, 1977 Library of Congress BJ1012.D57 | Dewey Decimal 170
"Let us . . . nominate this the most important theoretical work on ethical or moral theory since John Rawls's Theory of Justice. If you have philosophical inclinations and want a good workout, this conscientious scrutiny of moral assumptions and expressions will be most rewarding. Donagan explores ways of acting in the Hebrew-Christian context, examines them in the light of natural law and rational theories, and proposes that formal patterns for conduct can emerge. All this is tightly reasoned, the argument is packed, but the language is clear."—Christian Century
"The man value of this book seems to me to be that it shows the force of the Hebrew-Christian moral tradition in the hands of a creative philosopher. Throughout the book, one cannot but feel that a serious philosopher is trying to come to terms with his religious-moral background and to defend it against the prevailing secular utilitarian position which seems to dominate academic philosophy."—Bernard Gert, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy
The Truman Scandals and the Politics of Morality is a thoroughly researched effort offering an excellent historical narrative of the scandals and accusations of scandal that bedeviled Harry Truman throughout his political career. The book is particularly significant in light of the connections the author establishes between Truman's early political experiences and his subsequent difficulties as president.
Nineteenth-century England witnessed an unprecedented increase in the number of publications and institutions devoted to the creation and the dissemination of knowledge: encyclopedias, scientific periodicals, instruction manuals, scientific societies, children’s literature, mechanics’ institutes, museums of natural history, and lending libraries. In Useful Knowledge Alan Rauch presents a social, cultural, and literary history of this new knowledge industry and traces its relationships within nineteenth-century literature, ending with its eventual confrontation with Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species. Rauch discusses both the influence and the ideology of knowledge in terms of how it affected nineteenth-century anxieties about moral responsibility and religious beliefs. Drawing on a wide array of literary, scientific, and popular works of the period, the book focusses on the growing importance of scientific knowledge and its impact on Victorian culture. From discussions of Jane Webb Loudon’s The Mummy! and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, to Charlotte Brontë’s The Professor, Charles Kingsley’s Alton Locke, and George Eliot’s Mill on the Floss, Rauch paints a fascinating picture of nineteenth-century culture and addresses issues related to the proliferation of knowledge and the moral issues of this time period. Useful Knowledge touches on social and cultural anxieties that offer both historical and contemporary insights on our ongoing preoccupation with knowledge. Useful Knowledge will appeal to readers interested in nineteenth century history, literature, culture, the mediation of knowledge, and the history of science.