Moral Literacy

Moral Literacy

4.33 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
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A distinguished moral philosopher and a leading interpreter of Kant's ethics, Barbara Herman draws on Kant to address timeless issues in ethical theory as well as ones arising from current moral problems, such as obligations to distant need, the history of slavery as it bears on affirmative action, and the moral costs of reparative justice.

Challenging various Kantian orthodoxies, Herman offers a view of moral competency as a complex achievement, governed by rational norms and dependent on supportive social conditions. She argues that the objectivity of duties and obligations does not rule out the possibility of or need for moral invention. Her goal is not to revise Kant but to explore the issues and ask the questions that he did not consider.

Some of the essays involve explicit interpretation of Kant, and others are prompted by ground-level questions. For example, how should we think about moral character given what we know about the fault lines in normal development? If ordinary moral life is saturated by the content of local institutions, how should our accounts of moral obligation and judgment accommodate this?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 22.86mm | 476.27g
  • Cambridge, Mass, United States
  • English
  • 0674030524
  • 9780674030527
  • 1,325,864

Table of contents

* Preface *1. Making Room for Character *2. Pluralism and the Community of Moral Judgment *3. A Cosmopolitan Kingdom of Ends *4. Moral Literacy I: Responsibility and Moral Competence *5. Moral Literacy II: Can Virtue Be Taught? The Problem of New Moral Facts *6. Training to Autonomy: Kant and the Question of Moral Education *7. Bootstrapping *8. Rethinking Kant's Hedonism *9. The Scope of Moral Requirement *10. The Will and Its Objects *11. Obligatory Finds *12. Moral Improvisation *13. Contingency in Obligation * Notes * Credits * Index
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Review quote

"Proponents of competing moral theories, especially proponents of neo-Aristotelian virtue theory, have claimed that Kant's formal, abstract ethical theory cannot be reconciled with the complexity of real-world moral judgments. Herman confronts this claim head-on and shows that character development, the influence of social institutions, and the peculiarities of moral psychology can be understood within, and enlightened by, a fundamentally Kantian framework. Interpreting Kant is not Herman's focus, nor is Herman arguing for a radical revision of Kant's ethics; instead, she focuses on addressing questions and issues that Kant himself did not explore. Herman manages to remain true to Kant while extending Kantian ethics into these new territories... Herman's work is sophisticated and subtle... This book will be indispensable for those interested in contemporary attempts to revitalize Kantian ethics." - M. W. Sontag, Choice"
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About Barbara Herman

Barbara Herman is Griffin Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles.
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Rating details

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