Rights and Goods

Justifying Social Action

Virginia Held

Rights and Goods
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Virginia Held

336 pages | © 1989
Paper $32.00 ISBN: 9780226325880 Published July 1989
Theories of justice, argues Virginia Held, are usually designed for a perfect, hypothetical world. They do not give us guidelines for living in an imperfect world in which the choices and decisions that we must make are seldom clear-cut.

Seeking a morality based on actual experience, Held offers a method of inquiry with which to deal with the specific moral problems encountered in daily life. She argues that the division between public and private morality is misleading and shows convincingly that moral judgment should be contextual. She maps out different approaches and positions for various types of issues, including membership in a state, legal decisions, political activities, economic transactions, interpersonal relations, diplomacy, journalism, and determining our obligation to future generations. Issues such as these provide the true test of moral theory, since its success is seen in the willingness of conscientious persons to commit themselves to it by acting on it in their daily lives.

Contents
About the Author
Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
2. The Revival of Ethics
3. The Division of Moral Labor: Roles
4. Moral Theory and Moral Experience
5. The Grounds for Social Trust
6. Acceptance or Rejection of the State
7. Laws and Rights
8. Rights to Equal Liberty
9. The Goals of Politics
10. Property and Economic Activity
11. Family and Society
12. Culture, Free Expression, and the Good Life
13. The Environment and the Future
14. The International Context
15. The Practice of Moral Inquiry
Notes
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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