This book introduces major philosophical theories and issues in the context of the contemporary debate about the so-called culture wars in American society. It is designed to make these theories come alive as they are related to these vital contemporary concerns and to provide a framework within which to assess the ongoing debate about the future direction of Western culture. As a book in ethical theory, it is designed to provide the framework for clear and comprehensive thinking about our cultural development. Classical ethical positions like cultural relativism, emotivism, egoism, hedonism, utilitarianism and theorists like Kant are introduced and assessed. The contemporary theorists John Rawls and Alasdair MacIntyre are given extensive treatment and made accessible to the introductory student in philosophy. Culture War and Ethical Theory exhibits a non-ptolemical tone as it relates these theories, for heuristic purposes, to the contrasting perspective of fundamentalism and secular humanism. These two viewpoints are treated fairly without pretense of thorough exposition. They were chosen because they set the contemporary debate in stark relief. Thus, they assist the reader in understanding the relationship of philosophical reflection to commonly held perspectives.
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About the Author
Richard F. Von Dohlen is Professor of Philosophy and Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina.