This important new book argues that Henry James reveals in his fiction a sophisticated theory of moral understanding and moral motivation. The claim is that in his novels and short stories James is engaged in a distinctive kind of original thinking and reflecting on modern moral life. Sensitive to the precarious and extremely confusing situation of moral understanding in modern societies, James avoids skepticism and presents powerfully the full nature of moral claims and moral dependence. The book is written by one of the pre-eminent interpreters of the modern European philosophical tradition and will interest both philosophers and literary critics. However, the style is completely non-technical with no reliance on terms from contemporary literary or philosophical theory and will therefore be accessible to students and general readers of James.
'It is a book for anyone who has ever wondered what is involved in leading a life worth living. it is, like James's novels themselves 'finely aware and richly responsible.' Modernism/Modernity