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The Moral Sense : Free Press Paperback - James Q. Wilson

The Moral Sense

Free Press Paperback

Paperback Published: 6th November 1997
ISBN: 9780684833323
Number Of Pages: 336

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The classic and controversial argument that morality is based in human nature.

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A slow-paced but utterly intriguing examination of the development of the "moral sense" that governs human conduct in all cultures and times. Wilson (Management and Public Policy/UCLA; On Character, 1991, etc.) contends that most modern sociologies and psychologies are flawed insofar as they maintain that there's no such thing as an identifiable "human nature" that will develop under most circumstances without external coercion. The legal theories of John Rawls, the political agendas of Marx and Lenin, and much of Freudian psychology were organized around this idea - which Wilson claims to be demonstrably false. Basing his own theory upon a large body of experimental research, Wilson holds that the development of empathy, conscience, and altruism is a natural process that takes place as an inevitable response to the contradictions of childhood socialization. "We learn to cope with the people of this world," Wilson says, "because we learn to cope with the members of our family." The family is the crucial element in the process, and Wilson points to the weakening of the family bond as the root of most of today's social dysfunctionalism. Parts of his argument - particularly his pessimism regarding the effects of nonmaternal child care - will be a provocation to orthodox feminists, but there's nothing doctrinaire or simplistic in Wilson's critique of our current wisdoms. (His extensive notes and bibliography will be useful to scholars interested in the field.) Dry and overly anecdotal at times, but Wilson manages to take sociology out of the realm of theory without reducing it to policy. A refreshing and timely work. (Kirkus Reviews)

The Moral Sensep. 1
Sympathyp. 29
Fairnessp. 55
Self-Controlp. 79
Dutyp. 99
The Social Animalp. 121
Familiesp. 141
Genderp. 165
The Universal Aspirationp. 191
The Moral Sense and Human Characterp. 225
Notesp. 253
Referencesp. 267
Indexp. 301
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780684833323
ISBN-10: 0684833328
Series: Free Press Paperback
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 6th November 1997
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.4 x 14.0  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.42
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised

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