Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-up Idealists

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9780151011971: Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-up Idealists


For years, moral language has been the province of the Right, as the Left has consoled itself with rudderless pragmatism. In this profound and powerful book, Susan Neiman reclaims the vocabulary of morality--good and evil, heroism and nobility--as a lingua franca for the twenty-first century. In constructing a framework for taking responsible action on today's urgent questions, Neiman reaches back to the eighteenth century, retrieving a series of values--happiness, reason, reverence, and hope--held high by Enlightenment thinkers. In this thoroughly updated edition, Neiman reflects on how the moral language of the 2008 presidential campaign has opened up new political and cultural possibilities in America and beyond.


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Product Description:

In Moral Clarity, Susan Neiman shows how the philosophical resources of the eighteenth-century Englightenment can help us to construct a politics that does not repeat the mistakes of Marxism or succumb to the temptation of a cynicism that masquerade as realism.

Through her commitment to the claims of reason and the facts of the world, her shrewd and generous readings of the Western canon, and above all through her conviction that politics is a moral endeavour, Neiman issues an irresistible invitation to make the world more just.

Review:

"A powerful wake-up call for the progressive left to have some faith in its Enligtenment project" (Observer)

"Forget the Man Booker long list. Susan Neiman's superb new book should be at the top of beach reads this summer. For what Neiman beautifully chronicles is how in all sorts of policy areas the left has let slip its Enlightenment bearings and is no longer able to act on moral impulses.... Now is the time to turn to Neiman and re-inject some morality into progressive politics - for the good of everyone" (Tristram Hunt Guardian)

"In Moral Clarity Susan Neilman criticises the philosophical ideas that dominate contemporary culture and politics on a grand scale... By the end of the 20th century, scepticism about reason and agnosticism about morality pervaded political life and popular culture. Neiman skewers this well-worn genealogy with splendid directness" (Onora O’Neill Financial Times)

"Neiman asks people to reject the false choice between Utopia and degeneracy. Moral progress, she writes, is neither guaranteed nor hopeless. Instead, it is up to us" (Economist)

"Neiman's particular skill lies in expressing sensitivity, intelligence and moral seriousness without any hint of oversimplification, dogmatism or misplaced piety. She clearly and unflinchingly sees life as it is, but also sees how it might be, and could be, if we recaptured some of the hopes and ideas that currently escape us" (New York Times)

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Neiman, Susan
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Book Description Harcourt Trade Publishers, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Edition, 3rd printing. Brand new hardcover in brand new dustjacket, both very fine. Gift quality! Lower corner of front cover ever so slightly bumped. First edition, 3rd printing. Digital image available upon request. Bookseller Inventory # 42519

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Book Description Harcourt, Inc., Orlando, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Edition. Fourth printing.. 467 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. New book. PHILOSOPHY. Susan Neiman is a moral philosopher committed to making the tools of her trade relevant to real life. In Moral Clarity, she shows how resurrecting a moral vocabularyÑgood and evil, heroism and nobilityÑcan steer us clear of the dogmas of the right and the helpless pragmatism of the left. In search of a framework for forming clear opinions and taking responsible action on today's urgent political and social questions, Neiman reaches back to the eighteenth century, retrieving a set of virtuesÑhappiness, reason, reverence, and hopeÑthat were held high by every Enlightenment thinker. She shows that the pursuit of moral clarity is not a matter of religious faith but is open to all who are committed to these ideals, believers and nonbelievers alike. And she draws on literature, evolutionarytheory, and other contemporary research to show why, by keeping before us the distinction between the real and the possible, these ideals continue to guide and inspire. (Key Words: Susan Neiman, Philosophy, Ethics, Good, Evil, Hope, Happiness, Voltaire, Torture, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Reason, Nazism, Alexander Pope, Immanuel Kant, Metaphysics, Job, Thomas Hobbes, Daniel Ellsberg, Enlightenment, George W. Bush, Deism, Abraham). book. Bookseller Inventory # 51374X3

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