Living Morally: A Psychology of Moral Character

Living Morally: A Psychology of Moral Character

By: Laurence Mordekhai Thomas (author)Paperback

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Laurence Thomas addresses two main questions in this philosophical exploration of morality: What constitutes a moral life? How does one acquire and maintain a good moral character? In answering these questions, he maintains that social interaction is the thread from which the fabric of moral character is woven, and he promotes friendship and parental upbringing as the most important forms of social interaction. Thomas rejects the view now prominent in contemporary ethical theory that individuals are essentially self-interested. Instead he argues that a great deal of altruism can be found in the biological and psychological make-up of human beings. Thomas defends the view that sociobiology can serve as a basis for ethics. Regarding this 'capacity for altruism' as a natural gift or talent, he observes that whether or not a quality flourishes is dependent upon the nature of one's social environment. Thomas contends that within each person's social environment, parental love, companion friendships, and our beliefs about how others will treat us provide the strongest encouragement for developing a good moral character. Laurence Thomas is Professor of Philosophy and an affiliate member of the Department of Political Science at Syracuse University.

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Laurence Thomas is Professor of Philosophy and an affiliate member of the Department of Political Science at Syracuse University.


Preface 1. Moral Character and Moral Theories Persons of Good Moral Character Moral Theory and Altruistic Motivations 2. The Biological Basis of Altruism Morality and Sociobiology Love: Transparent and Opaque Transparent Love and Natural Selection Love, Morality, and Self-Interest 3. Parental Love: A Social Basis for Morality The Freudian Moral Character Acquiring Altruistic Morality and Autonomy 4. An Account of Friendship The Character of Friendship Friendship: A Gloss on Aristotle Friendship and Romantic Love 5. Friendship: A Social Basis for Morality The Acquisition of Autonomous Altruism Friendship and Moral Self-Examination Moral Sensibilities 6. Character and Society The Psychology of the Platonic Conception Beliefs and Moral Reinforcement The Importance of Basic Trust 7. Living Well Self-Love The Natural Sentiments Psychic Harmony Realized Psychic Harmony: The Main Argument 8. The Damned Self-Esteem Kantian Morality and Self-Esteem Bibliography Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 01/06/1990
  • ISBN13: 9780877227786
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 278
  • ID: 9780877227786
  • weight: 386
  • ISBN10: 0877227780

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