Ethics after Babel: The Languages of Morals and Their Discontents

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Overview

A fascinating study of moral languages and their discontents, Ethics after Babel explains the links that connect contemporary moral philosophy, religious ethics, and political thought in clear, cogent, even conversational prose. Princeton's paperback edition of this award-winning book includes a new postscript by the author that responds to the book's noted critics, Stanley Hauerwas and the late Alan Donagan. In answering his critics, Jeffrey Stout clarifies the book's arguments and offers fresh reasons for resisting despair over the prospects of democratic discourse.

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Editorial Reviews

Canadian Philosophical Reviews
The most thorough and persuasive attempt to date to take account of the multiplicity of moral standpoints in our culture and to argue that it does not threaten coherent moral discourse. An unusually lucid and penetrating book.
— J. B. Schneewind
Theology Today
Jeffrey Stout is one of the most penetrating and provocative philosophers on the American scene.
— Cornel West
Theology Today - Cornel West
Jeffrey Stout is one of the most penetrating and provocative philosophers on the American scene.
Canadian Philosophical Reviews - J.B. Schneewind
The most thorough and persuasive attempt to date to take account of the multiplicity of moral standpoints in our culture and to argue that it does not threaten coherent moral discourse. An unusually lucid and penetrating book.
Canadian Philosophical Reviews - J. B. Schneewind
The most thorough and persuasive attempt to date to take account of the multiplicity of moral standpoints in our culture and to argue that it does not threaten coherent moral discourse. An unusually lucid and penetrating book.
From the Publisher
Winner of the 1989 American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence

"Jeffrey Stout is one of the most penetrating and provocative philosophers on the American scene."—Cornel West, Theology Today

"The most thorough and persuasive attempt to date to take account of the multiplicity of moral standpoints in our culture and to argue that it does not threaten coherent moral discourse. An unusually lucid and penetrating book."—J. B. Schneewind, Canadian Philosophical Reviews

Cornel West
Jeffrey Stout is one of the most penetrating and provocative philosophers on the American scene.
Theology Today
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
To understand the messages of, say, a Jerry Falwell, Elie Wiesel or Mario Cuomo, we first have to understand the moral language in which they frame them asserts this Princeton professor of religion. But Stout The Flight from Authority is no moral relativist. His ``modest pragmatism'' throws down a gauntlet to nihilists and skeptics who, in his opinion, are cowed by the sheer diversity of modern society. As he reflects on the role of institutions and beliefs in shoring up the moral framework of our fragile republic, he drives home his central message: religious ethics, far from being something we can ignore, are the litmus test of any secular philosophy. Finding academic theology bankrupt, Stout engages instead in a debate with moral philosophers. His own pragmatism offers scant metaphysical comfort, yet it points the way to a better society. This weighty tome will repay the careful reader. June
Library Journal
In the first third of this ambitious book Stout explores theoretical ethics, arguing persuasively against nihilism, skepticism, and relativism. He then sympathetically considers a revised divine command theory that withstands the stock criticisms of nonbelievers. A bonus chapter brilliantly illuminates the basis of common attitudes toward cannibalism and sodomy; Stout argues that a virtue-based ethics can explain them and is best for a society with pluralistic values. His final section elaborates details. Stout's procedure throughout is to critique other philosophers, with whom he presupposes considerable familiarity. For subject collections. Sidney Gendin, Eastern Michigan Univ., Ypsilanti
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691070810
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/3/2001
  • Pages: 372
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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