Everyday Ethics: Inspired Solutions to Real-Life Dilemmas

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9780140165586: Everyday Ethics: Inspired Solutions to Real-Life Dilemmas

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

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About the Author:

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.

From Kirkus Reviews:

How to become a mensch--a decent person--is the question posed by Halberstam (Philosophy/NYU) in this slim volume marbled with insight and clich‚. ``Relax,'' recommends Halberstam. ``You won't find any preaching here.'' But the man does preach, or at least offer pounds of avuncular advice, perhaps the necessary price of writing on morality. His interest isn't in social issues--abortion, capital punishment--but in personal moral behavior. Whatever the pickle, his solution is old-fashioned: common-sense, integrity, and responsibility win the day. Sometimes Halberstam's advice is obvious: ``maintain friendships with people with different interests''; ``get yourself friends who know how to laugh.'' He distinguishes between love and lust (``falling in love is a decision'') and counsels each person to develop his or her own theory of sexual morality. He excoriates ``creeps''--verbose name-droppers flushed with self-interest--and, more interestingly, also raises doubts about ``saints,'' who can grow so devoted to duty that self-righteousness drowns out compassion. Rules of proper discourse emerge: Don't argue with arguers; avoid pet peeves; don't debase the language by, say, calling Republicans ``fascists.'' Nothing new or controversial here. But things pick up when Halberstam steps into messier ground. He suggests that we bear responsibility for our emotions, which carry moral weight; that we must judge others objectively, without making excuses; that morality isn't a matter of taste, and that we must therefore beware of confusing cultural relativity (eating different foods in different lands) and ethical relativity (accepting foreign customs that violate basic human rights). He ends on a high note, by shooting down nine moral clich‚s: ``What goes around comes around''; ``moral values can't be taught,'' etc. Like Dad's good advice, but, despite real effort on the author's part, still delivered with too much dull oatmeal and yucky vitamins. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Penguin Books Australia, Australia, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The perfect handbook for understanding what constitutes moral relations with friends, enemies, and one s own self. --BooklistIn 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 cliches 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. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780140165586

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