Why Ethics?: Signs of Responsibilities
  • Why Ethics?: Signs of Responsibilities
  • Why Ethics?: Signs of Responsibilities

Why Ethics?: Signs of Responsibilities

by Robert Gibbs
     
 

Robert Gibbs presents here an ambitious new theory of ethics. Drawing on a striking combination of intellectual traditions, including Jewish thought, continental philosophy, and American pragmatism, Gibbs argues that ethics is primarily concerned with responsibility and is not--as philosophers have often assumed--principally a matter of thinking about the right thing… See more details below

Overview

Robert Gibbs presents here an ambitious new theory of ethics. Drawing on a striking combination of intellectual traditions, including Jewish thought, continental philosophy, and American pragmatism, Gibbs argues that ethics is primarily concerned with responsibility and is not--as philosophers have often assumed--principally a matter of thinking about the right thing to do and acting in accordance with the abstract dictates of reason or will. More specifically, ethics is concerned with attending to others' questions and bearing responsibility for what they do.Gibbs builds this innovative case by exploring the implicit responsibilities in a broad range of human interactions, paying especially close attention to the signs that people give and receive as they relate to each other. Why Ethics? starts by examining the simple actions of listening and speaking, reading and writing, and by focusing on the different responsibilities that each action entails. The author discusses what he describes as the mutual responsibilities implicit in the actions of reasoning, mediating, and judging. He assesses the relationships among ethics, pragmatics, and Jewish philosophy. The book concludes by looking at the relation of memory and the immemorial, emphasizing the need to respond for past actions by confessing, seeking forgiveness, and making reconciliations.In format, Gibbs adopts a Talmudic approach, interweaving brief citations from primary texts with his commentary. He draws these texts from diverse thinkers and sources, including Levinas, Derrida, Habermas, Rosenzweig, Luhmann, Peirce, James, Royce, Benjamin, Maimonides, the Bible, and the Talmud. Ranging over philosophy, literary theory, socialtheory, and historiography, this is an ambitious and provocative work that holds profound lessons for how we think about ethics and how we seek to live responsibly.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691009636
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/28/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations and Notes on Citations
Introduction: Why Questions?3
Pt. IAttending the Future27
Ch. 1Why Listen?29
Ch. 2Why Speak?47
Ch. 3Why Write?66
Ch. 4Why Read?86
Ch. 5Why Comment?114
Pt. IIPresent Judgments131
Ch. 6Why Reason?133
Ch. 7Why Mediate?156
Ch. 8Why Judge?178
Ch. 9Why Law?210
Pt. IIIPragmatism, Pragmatics, and Method225
Ch. 10Why Verify?227
Ch. 11Why Thirds?246
Ch. 12Why Me?258
Ch. 13Why Translate?278
Pt. IVRepenting History305
Ch. 14Why Repent?307
Ch. 15Why Confess?325
Ch. 16Why Forgive?338
Ch. 17Why Remember?354
Epilogue: Postmodern Jewish Philosophy and Modernity380
Pretext Index385
Name Index391
Subject Index395

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