Conscience: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | July 1, 2011

byPaul Strohm

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Where does our conscience come from? How reliable is it? In the West conscience has been relied upon for two thousand years as a judgement that distinguishes right from wrong. It has effortlessly moved through every period division and timeline between the ancient, medieval, and modern. The Romans identified it, the early Christians appropriated it, andReformation Protestants and loyal Catholics relied upon its advice and admonition. Today it is embraced with equal conviction by non-religious and religious alike. Considering its deep historical roots and exploring what it has meant to successive generations, Paul Strohm highlights why this particularly European concept deserves its reputation as 'one of the prouder Western contributions to human rights and human dignity throughout the world.' Using examples from popular culture including the Disney classic Pinocchio, as well as examples from contemporary politics, he explores the work of thinkers such as Nietzsche, Freud, and Aquinas, to show how and why conscience remains a motivating and important principle in the contemporaryworld.

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Where does our conscience come from? How reliable is it? In the West conscience has been relied upon for two thousand years as a judgement that distinguishes right from wrong. It has effortlessly moved through every period division and timeline between the ancient, medieval, and modern. The Romans identified it, the early Christians ap...

Paul Strohm is the Anna Garbedian Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University. He was formerly J.R.R. Tolkien Professor of Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, where he continues as Research Fellow of St Anne's College. He has written five books including: Social Chaucer (Harvard, 1989, 1994); Hochon's Arrow: Th...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.85 × 4.37 × 0.07 inPublished:July 1, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019956969X

ISBN - 13:9780199569694

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Table of Contents

1. Encountering conscience2. Christian conscience3. The secularization of conscience4. Three critics of conscience: Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Freud5. Is conscience a civil right?6. The prospects for conscience