Ethical Life: The Past and Present of Ethical Cultures / Edition 1

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Ethical Life sets out to act as a guide for those of us who want to better understand ethics. It offers answers to the two simplest and yet most difficult questions facing individuals who have fallen into the perplexities of contemporary life: Why be ethical, and how? Redner enlightens his readers with a comprehensive survey of the nature of ethics, touching briefly in his introduction on present ethical concerns and then drawing his readers into a deeper examination of the ethical systems and cultures from which those concerns emerge. The author poses the question: To what extent is our global technological civilization conducive or averse to ethical matters, and how does it compare in this respect to the cultures of the past, both in the West and the East? The book is an excellent and thought provoking introduction to ethics, and an engaging resource for new students of ethics and moral theory. Ethical Life is distinctive in its format and approach, synthesizing in one book both an historical and comparative account of ethical systems, and an engaging discussion of contemporary ethical challenges. The book begins with an introduction to the ethics of ancient Israel, Greece, China, India, and Persia, before moving on to a diagnosis of the twentieth century crisis in ethics, and finally, a discussion of contemporary ethical concerns, exploring our social, cultural, and individual responses to them.

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Editorial Reviews

Aryeh Botwinick
"Redner writes in a very clear, direct, forceful style that is very appropriate for reaching an intended textbook audience. The narrative of the book collapses both spatial and temporal boundaries to arrive at the common elements that link East and West, the past and the present. His arguments are well-constructed and well-placed—appropriately crafted to carry the novice as well as the experienced and scholarly reader along in their momentum."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742512337
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/15/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Harry Redner is the author of numerous books on ethics and the philosophy of science, including Malign Masters: Gentile, Heidegger, Lukacs, Wittgenstein and A New Theory of Representation: Towards An Integrated Theory of Representation in Science, Politics, and Art. He resides in North Caulfield, Australia.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction: Process and Paradoxes of Ethics Part 3 PART I: The Past Chapter 4 Preamble Part 5 Chapter 1: The Four Pure Types Chapter 6 Ethos and Ethics Chapter 7 Moralities Chapter 8 The Civil Ethics Chapter 9 Ethics of Duty Chapter 10 Ethics of Honor Chapter 11 Comparative Studies Part 12 Chapter 2: Processes of Transformation and Development Chapter 13 Adaptation, Conservation, and Syncretism Chapter 14 Puritanism, Rationalization, Secularization Chapter 15 Demoralization Part 16 PART II: The Present Chapter 17 Preamble Part 18 Chapter 3: Ethics and Society Chapter 19 Ethics and the State Chapter 20 Ethics and Civil Society Part 21 Chapter 4: Ethics and Culture Chapter 22 Ethics and Aesthetics Chapter 23 The Disposition of Roles Part 24 Chapter 5: Ethics and the Individual Chapter 25 Why Be Ethical Chapter 26 How to Be Ethical? Part 27 Notes Part 28 Index

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