The Second Mountain
The Quest for a Moral Life
Hardcover ISBN: 0812993268
The best-selling author of The Road to Character presents a thought-provoking exploration of the qualities of a meaningful life, drawing on inspirational examples to offer advice about personal philosophies, a vocation, faith, relationships and community life.
Perception, Empathy, and Judgment
An Inquiry into the Preconditions of Moral Performance
Paperback ISBN: 0271010126
In Perception, Empathy, and Judgment Arne Johan Vetlesen focuses on the indispensable role of emotion, especially the faculty of empathy, in morality. He contends that moral conduct is severely threatened once empathy is prevented from taking part in an interplay with cognitive faculties (such as abstraction or imagination) in acts of moral perception and judgment. Drawing on developmental psychology, especially British "object relations" theory, to illuminate the nature and functioning of empathy, Vetlesen shows how moral performance is constituted by a sequence involving perception, judgment, and action, with an interplay between the agent's emotional (empathic) and cognitive faculties occurring at each stage. In the powerful tradition from Kant to present-day theorists such as Kohlberg, Rawls, and Habermas, reason is privileged over feeling and judgment over perception, in such a way that basic philosophical questions remain unasked. Vetlesen focuses our attention on these questions and challenges the long-standing assertion that emotions are damaging to moral response. In the final chapter he relates his argument to recent feminist critiques that have also castigated moral theorists in the Kantian tradition for their refusal to recognize a role for emotion in morality. While the book's argument is philosophical, its method and scope are interdisciplinary. In addition to critiques of such philosophers as Arendt, MacIntyre, and Habermas, it contains discussions of specific historical, ideological, and sociological factors that may cause "numbing"—selective or broad-ranging, pathological insensitivity—in humans. The Nazis' mass killing of Jews is studied to illuminate these and other relevant empirical aspects of large-scale immoral action.
Paperback ISBN: 0143036335
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves—and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives—and destroyed them. Now, Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are. Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers, and each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-drive design that highlights the bookmaker's art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped the world. Rejecting the traditional values of political theory, Machiavelli drew upon his own experiences of office in the turbulent Florentine republic to write his celebrated treatise on statecraft. While Machiavelli was only one of the many Florentine “prophets of force,
Anger and Forgiveness
Resentment, Generosity, Justice
Paperback ISBN: 0190907266
Anger is not just ubiquitous, it is also popular. Many people think it is impossible to care sufficiently for justice without anger at injustice. Many believe that it is impossible for individuals to vindicate their own self-respect or to move beyond an injury without anger. To not feel anger in those cases would be considered suspect. Is this how we should think about anger, or is anger above all a disease, deforming both the personal and the political? In this wide-ranging book, Martha C. Nussbaum, one of our leading public intellectuals, argues that anger is conceptually confused and normatively pernicious. It assumes that the suffering of the wrongdoer restores the thing that was damaged, and it betrays an all-too-lively interest in relative status and humiliation. Studying anger in intimate relationships, casual daily interactions, the workplace, the criminal justice system, and movements for social transformation, Nussbaum shows that anger's core ideas are both infantile and harmful. Is forgiveness the best way of transcending anger? Nussbaum examines different conceptions of this much-sentimentalized notion, both in the Jewish and Christian traditions and in secular morality. Some forms of forgiveness are ethically promising, she claims, but others are subtle allies of retribution: those that exact a performance of contrition and abasement as a condition of waiving angry feelings. In general, she argues, a spirit of generosity (combined, in some cases, with a reliance on impartial welfare-oriented legal institutions) is the best way to respond to injury. Applied to the personal and the political realms, Nussbaum's profoundly insightful and erudite view of anger and forgiveness puts both in a startling new light.
The Punitive Society
Lectures at the College De France 1972-1973
Paperback ISBN: 1250183936
These thirteen lectures on the 'punitive society,' delivered at the Colle de France in the first three months of 1973, examine the way in which the relations between justice and truth that govern modern penal law were forged, and question what links them to the emergence of a new punitive regime that still dominates contemporary society.
The African American Book of Values
Classic Moral Stories
1st Edition Hardcover ISBN: 0385482590
A weighty volume of virtuous poems, stories, letters, hymns, slave narratives, folktales, and biographical vignettes, gathered from African Americans past and present, famous and obscure, is designed to inspire readers morally and intellectually.
Ben & Me
From Temperance to Humility--Stumbling Through Ben Franklin's Thirteen Virtues, One Unvirtuous Day at a Time
1st Edition Paperback ISBN: 0399536078
Thirteen weeks. Thirteen virtues. Cameron Gunn considered himself a regular guy-a pretty good husband, father, attorney, and friend. But was there room for improvement? A reader of history and a fan of Ben Franklin (and weary of self-help advice that never seems to offer much help), Gunn decided to try a little experiment. He would attempt to live by Franklin's thirteen virtues, a list of lofty ideals the Founding Father held dear, as enumerated in his famous autobiography. Would Gunn's plan to improve his life, Citizen Ben-style, prove to be a brilliant reinvention of the self-help movement or a boondoggle of revolutionary proportions? By turns heartfelt, hilarious, and more than a little humbling, Gunn's adventure takes this ordinary man way outside his comfort zone and into a thicket of not-so-modern values. The result is an engaging mix of humor and history-with perhaps a lightning bolt of inspiration or two along the way. Prepare to get up close and personal with everyone's favorite Founding Father. Temperance * Silence * Order * Resolution * Frugality * Industry * Sincerity * Justice * Moderation * Cleanliness * Tranquility * Chastity * Humility
Ethics from a Theocentric Perspective
Paperback ISBN: 0226311112
"Ethics from a Theocentric Perspective will surprise some, shock others, and unleash a flood of speculation about what has happened to James Gustafson. The answer quite simply is nothing has happened to Gustafson except that he has now turned his attention to developing his constructive theological position, and we should all be very glad. . . . In this, the first of two volumes, Gustafson displays his colors as a constructive theologian, and they are indeed brilliant and splendid. . . . Though Gustafson is a theologian who works in the Christian tradition, he reminds us that the God Christians worship is not merely the Christian God. For Gustafson the kind of God who is the object of the theologians's reflection eludes or surpasses the inevitably confessional activity of Christian theological reflection. Thus Gustafson, the constructive theologian, is also Gustafson the revisionist theologian who takes as his task nothing less than challenging the anthropocentrism that he alleges characterizes mainstream Western Christian theology."—Stanley Hauerwas, Journal of Religion