Open Moral Communities / Edition 1

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Seymour Mandelbaum's extended reflection on communities and the myths that sustain them is a plea for a communitarian sensibility. Communities are critically important in maintaining and adapting public moral orders. To do so, they must recruit, socialize, and discipline members; distinguish between members and strangers; collect resources; and cultivate a domain of competence.The communitarian sensibility is a disposition to assess the impact of innovative opportunities and compelling moral claims on the design, repair, and dissolution of communities and communal fields with a healthy skepticism about unlikely strategies.The book is divided into three parts. The first part sets out the role of communities in the creation of moral orders and discusses the implications of three prevalent myths about community. The second part discusses six terms—theory, story, time, city,tool, and plan—that figure prominently in both professional and lay constructions of public orders. The third part presents two cases in which ambiguous moral claims for redemption and justice challenge the pluralism of the open myth. One concerns exclusionary zoning in New Jersey, the other the 1985 attack on the MOVE compound in West Philadelphia. Mandelbaum's blending of moral philosophy and concrete examples concludes with an account of citizenship in liberal republics.

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"Seymour J. Mandelbaum's Open Moral Communities is outstanding. It is caring, wise, learned, thoughtful, thought-provoking, and timely." James A.

Throgmorton, University of Iowa, author of Planning as Persuasive Storytelling

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262133654
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 2/11/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 258
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

I A Communitarian Sensibility
1 Moral Orders and Communities 3
2 Deserving Communities 17
3 Three Communal Myths 31
4 Community and Communication 45
II Public Orders
5 Theory 57
6 Stories 75
7 Times 95
8 Tools 113
9 Cities 129
10 Plans 143
III Moral Claims
11 MOVE and the Poetics of Redemption 163
12 Ethical Mandates and the Virtue of Prudence 191
13 Liberal Republics and the Open Field 209
Conclusion 225
Notes 229
Bibliography 233
Index 241
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