Everyday Ethics: Inspired Solutions to Real-Life Dilemmas

Overview

“The perfect handbook for understanding what constitutes moral relations with friends, enemies, and one’s own self.”
—Booklist

In an age when most of us spend more time thinking about what movie we’ll see than about how we want to lead our lives, nothing could be more timely and helpful than Everyday Ethics. In this refreshingly original book, Joshua Halberstam shows us how to develop a moral imagination—and have fun while doing it.

Halberstam demolishes the clichés of both ...

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Overview

“The perfect handbook for understanding what constitutes moral relations with friends, enemies, and one’s own self.”
—Booklist

In an age when most of us spend more time thinking about what movie we’ll see than about how we want to lead our lives, nothing could be more timely and helpful than Everyday Ethics. In this refreshingly original book, Joshua Halberstam shows us how to develop a moral imagination—and have fun while doing it.

Halberstam demolishes the clichés of both religion and psychotherapy and entices us into looking at the small actions that make up the big picture of our character and values. Should we really refrain from making judgments? Should we let our conscience be our guide even if it urges us not to pay our taxes? Halberstam has something intriguing to say about these and many other issues. Witty and entertaining, Everyday Ethics is the moral equivalent of an aerobic dance session, as exhilarating as it is instructive.

The author of Virtues and Values: An Introduction to Ethics shows readers how to develop a moral imagination--and have fun doing it--as he demolishes the cliches of religion and psychotherapy and entices readers into looking at the small actions that make up the big picture of character and values.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This pragmatic guide aims to penetrate the thickets of moral confusion in contemporary society. Although the subject matter is serious and of perennial concern, Halberstam Acing College ; Virtues and Values , who is professor in the philosophy department at New York University, shows that while ``it takes effort to get yur ethics right . . . ethics can also be fun.'' Morality in relationships, in the expression of emotions, in the matter of judgments, and in the choices imposed by modern life are some of the aspects he addresses, with considerable verve and wit. He concedes that today's society makes it difficult for people to tie together the many strands of their personal value systems, but contends that the average person can successfully do so nevertheless. BOMC selection. Apr.
Library Journal
Writing for the lay reader, philosopher Halberstam offers a refreshing change from ethics books that sound preachy or abstruse. Rather than setting down definite principles of moral conduct, he discusses how value judgments influence our responses to a variety of commonplace situations. The result is a potpourri of topics, ranging from the importance of controlling our emotions to the value of learning to use small talk. These tidbits whet the appetite but do not provide much substance or cohesion. Halberstam urges the reader to find values to live by, yet he tends to view values as relative: ``A moral failure anywhere else is a saint in Sodom.'' Because it will appeal to the type of reader who enjoys chatty and upbeat self-help books, Everyday Ethics is appropriate for large public libraries.-- Ilse Heidmann Ali, Kyle Community Lib., Tex.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140165586
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 774,992
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Joshua Halberstam

Joshua Halberstam, Ph.D., divides his workday between teaching moral philosophy and directing marketing campaigns and managerial programs for a number of well-known companies. A frequent guest on "Oprah," he currently teaches philosophy at Columbia University. He is also the author of several other books, including Schmoozing and Everyday Ethics.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction

Part I. The Morality of Relationships
1. Friends and Foes
Do You Like Your Friends?
Are Your Friendships Mutual?
Are You Friends at a Distance?
Special Friends
When a Friendship Is Over
Enemies
A Final Word on Hatred

2. The Morality of Romance (and a Bit about Sex)
Romance
And a Bit about Sex

3. Creeps and Saints
The Philosophy of Creephood
The Traits of Creephood
When the Saints Come Marchin' In
Your Saintly Habits

Part II. The Morality of Expression and Emotion
4. Talk
Conversation: The Three Levels of Talk
Head-Talk Versus Heart-Talk
Argument: Look Who's Talking
The Principle of Falsifiability
The Closed-System Trap

5. Emotions
The Seven Deadly Sins Revisited
Emotions and Character
Green with Envy
Taking Control of Your Emotions

Part III. The Morality of Making Judgments
Making Judgments: An Introductory Comment
6. Judging Yourself
Stop Squeezing Every Pimple on Your Personality
You Are Your Convictions
Moral Guilt
Moral Pride

7. Judging Others
Who Are You to Judge?
Three Common Evasions
Moral Projection: You Believe What You Are
You Can't Read People Like a Book
Judging Others: The Method

8. Judging the Issues
The Background: Three Confusions About Moral Judgment
The Process: Cherish the Controversy
The Courage of Your Convictions

Part IV. The Integrity of Your Values
9. Nine Misleading Moral Clichés (and Their Cures)
What Goes Around Comes Around
Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide
All's Fair in Love and War
All Religions Teach the Same Basic Moral Truths
Natural is Morally Better
Love Humanity
There are Two Sides to Every Moral Issue
You Are Responsible for Your Disease
Moral Values Can't Be Taught

10. The Value of Your Values
Reevaluating: What Do You Want?
Instrumental and Intrinsic Goods
Invent Your Future, Reinvent Your Past
The Pluralism of Ideals
On the Virtue of Being Confused
Who Is Leading Your Life?

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