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Moral Engagement in Public Life

Theorists for Contemporary Ethics


Sharon L. Bracci and Clifford G. Christians

Ethical evaluation of language and action has relied historically on the western, monocultural assumptions of classical ethical theory. But persistent contemporary critiques undermine the moral force of ethical agency as individualistic, autonomous, and rationalistic. Contributors to Moral Engagement in Public Life take up the search for intellectual resources in light of these challenges by explicating twelve theorists in moral philosophy and communication ethics. Two classical theorists, Aristotle and Confucius, provide longstanding themes of ongoing relevance and serve as a point of departure for ten contemporary thinkers whose own perspectives are, in part, a response to classical thought in the current context. Together these theorists expand the conceptual domain crossculturally and internationally for understanding ethical discourse and action in practical and professional life.
Contents: Josina M. Makau: Preface – Christopher Lyle Johnstone: Aristotle’s Ethical Theory in the Contemporary World: Logos, Phronêsis, and the Moral Life – Peggy J. Bowers: Charles Taylor’s Practical Reason – Clifford G. Christians: The Social Ethics of Agnes Heller – Dong-Hyun Byun/Keehyeung Lee: Confucian Values, Ethics, and Legacies in History – David S. Allen: Jürgen Habermas and the Search for Democratic Principles – Sharon L. Bracci: The Fragile Hope of Seyla Bernhabib’s Interactive Universalism – Ronald C. Arnett: Paulo Freire’s Revolutionary Pedagogy: From a Story-Centered to a Narrative-Centered Communication Ethic – Jeffrey W. Murray: The Other Ethics of Emmanuel Levinas: Communication Beyond Relativism – Alexandre Lopes de Miranda: Mikhail Bakhtin’s Philosophy of the Act – Mark Lawrence McPhail: Race, Coherence, and Moral Knowledge: Cornel West’s Rhetoric and Politics of Convergence – Angharad Valdivia: bell hooks: Ethics from the Margins – Martha Cooper/Carole Blair: Foucault’s Ethics – Deni Elliott: Afterword.