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Book Summary: Ethics, morality and the study of religious ethics - Hindu tradition - Buddha - Jewish moral tradition - Christian tradition - Islam and the Muslim moral tradition - Chinese moral tradition - Additional moral traditions.
Book Summary: In this study, John Kekes develops the view that good lives depend on maintaining a balance between one's moral tradition and individuality. Our moral tradition provides the forms of good lives and the permissible ways of trying to achieve them. But to do so, the author argues, we must grow in self-knowledge and self-control to make our characters suitable for realizing our aspirations. In addressing general readers as well as scholars, Kekes makes these philosophical views concrete by drawing on a rich variety of literary sources, including, among others, the works of Sophocles, Henry James, Tolstoy, and Edith Wharton. The first half of the work concentrates on social morality, establishing the conditions all good lives must meet. The second discusses personal morality, the sphere of individuality. Its development enables us to discover what is important to us and how we can fit our personal aspirations into the forms of life our moral tradition provides. Kekes's argument derives its inspiration from Aristotle's objectivism, Hume's emphasis on custom and feeling, and Mill's concentration on individuals and their experiments in living. This book is a nontechnical yet closely reasoned attempt to provide a contemporary answer to the age-old question of how to live well.
Book Summary: This is the first comprehensive study of how different ethical traditions deal with the central moral problems of international affairs. Using the organizing concept of a tradition, it shows that ethics offers many different languages for moral debate rather than a set of unified doctrines. Each chapter describes the central concepts, premises, vocabulary, and history of a particular tradition and explains how that tradition has dealt with a set of recurring ethical issues in international relations. Such issues include national self-determination, the use of force in armed intervention or nuclear deterrence, and global distributive justice.
Book Summary: Most of us are content to see ourselves as ordinary people—unique in ways, talented in others, but still among the ranks of ordinary mortals. Andrew Flescher probes our contented state by asking important questions: How should "ordinary" people respond when others need our help, whether the situation is a crisis, or something less? Do we have a responsibility, an obligation, to go that extra mile, to act above and beyond the call of duty? Or should we leave the braver responses to those who are somehow different than we are: better somehow, "heroes," or "saints?" Traditional approaches to ethics have suggested there is a sharp distinction between ordinary people and those called heroes and saints; between duties and acts of supererogation (going beyond the expected). Flescher seeks to undo these standard dichotomies by looking at the lives and actions of certain historical figures—Holocaust rescuers, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, among others—who appear to be extraordinary but were, in fact, ordinary people. Heroes, Saints, and Ordinary Morality shifts the way we regard ourselves in relationship to those we admire from afar—it asks us not only to admire, but to emulate as well—further, it challenges us to actively seek the acquisition of virtue as seen in the lives of heroes and saints, to learn from them, a dynamic aspect of ethical behavior that goes beyond the mere avoidance of wrongdoing. Andrew Flescher sets a stage where we need to think and act, calling us to lead lives of self-examination—even if that should sometimes provoke discomfort. He asks that we strive to emulate those we admire and therefore allow ourselves to grow morally, and spiritually. It is then that the individual develops a deeper altruistic sense of self—a state that allows us to respond as the heroes of our own lives, and therefore in the lives of others, when times and circumstance demand that of us.
Book Summary: The idea of moral evil has always held a special place in philosophy and theology because the existence of evil has implications for the dignity of the human and the limits of human action. Andrew Michael Flescher proposes four interpretations of evil, drawing on philosophical and theological sources and using them to trace through history the moral traditions that are associated with them. The first model, evil as the presence of badness, offers a traditional dualistic model represented by Manicheanism. The second, evil leading to goodness through suffering, presents a theological interpretation known as theodicy. Absence of badness—that is, evil as a social construction—is the third model. The fourth, evil as the absence of goodness, describes when evil exists in lieu of the good—the "privation" thesis staked out nearly two millennia ago by Christian theologian St. Augustine. Flescher extends this fourth model—evil as privation—into a fifth, which incorporates a virtue ethic. Drawing original connections between Augustine and Aristotle, Flescher’s fifth model emphasizes the formation of altruistic habits that can lead us to better moral choices throughout our lives. Flescher eschews the temptation to think of human agents who commit evil as outside the norm of human experience. Instead, through the honing of moral skills and the practice of attending to the needs of others to a greater degree than we currently do, Flescher offers a plausible and hopeful approach to the reality of moral evil.
Book Summary: How is moral theology related to pastoral theology? In this first English translation of Living the Truth, Klaus Demmer answers this question by offering a complete theory of action. Its crucial element is truthfulness, which Demmer claims is a basic attitude that must be translated concretely into our individual decisions. Demmer demonstrates that the demand for truthfulness offers a critical corrective to the usual praxis whereby ethical norms are formulated. This has significant consequences for every area of ethical directives, including questions about celibacy and partnerships. Demmer moves away from the act-centered morality that dominates the neo-Scholastic manuals of moral theology. His concern is to show how our actions embody and carry out a more original anthropological project. Not only does this anthropological project condition our insights into goods and values, it provides the criteria by which our actions are judged morally. This book will be welcomed by all who are looking for ethical norms, and by all whose task it is to formulate such norms.
Book Summary: African philosophies about the way to live a flourishing life are predominantly virtue-oriented. However, narratives of African conceptions of virtue are uncommon. This book therefore helps bridge an important gap in literature. Authors writing from South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, Côte D’Ivoire and Nigeria share research on indigenous wisdoms on virtue, displaying marked consensus about the communitarian nature of African virtue ethics traditions and virtues essential for a flourishing life. They also show how indigenous virtue ethics improve corporate practices. This book will be a launchpad for further studies in Afriethics as well as a medium for sharing rich knowledge with the rest of the world.
Book Summary: How should we understand the relationship between Christian ethics and religious ethics? Among comparative, ethnographic, and normative methodologies? Between confessional and non-confessional orientations, or between theology and philosophy? This volume brings together emerging religious ethicists to engage the normative dimensions of Christian ethics. Focusing on scripture, tradition, and reason, the contributors to this volume argue for a vision of Christian ethics as religious ethics. Toward this end, they engage with scripture, interpretation, and religious practice; examine the putative divide between reason and tradition, autonomy and heteronomy; and offer proposals about the normative characterization of conceptual and practical issues in contemporary religious ethics. Collectively, the volume engages Christian thought to make an argument for the continuing relevance of normative methodologies in contemporary religious and theological ethics.