Real American Ethics: Taking Responsibility For Our Country

Hardcover | January 8, 2007

byAlbert Borgmann

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America is a wonderful and magnificent country that affords its citizens the broadest freedoms and the greatest prosperity in the world. But it also has its share of warts. It is embroiled in a war that many of its citizens consider unjust and even illegal. It continues to ravage the natural environment and ignore poverty both at home and abroad, and its culture is increasingly driven by materialism and consumerism. But America, for better or for worse, is still a nation that we have built. So why then, asks Albert Borgmann in this most timely and urgent work, are we failing to take responsibility for it? 

In Real American Ethics, Borgmann asks us to reevaluate our role in the making of American values. Taking his cue from Winston Churchill—who once observed that we shape our buildings, and then our buildings shape us—Borgmann considers the power of our most enduring institutions and the condition of our present moral makeup to propose inspired new ways in which we, as ordinary citizens, can act to improve our country. This, he shows, includes everything from where we choose to live and what we spend our money on to daunting tasks like the reshaping of our cities—habits and actions that can guide us to more accomplished and virtuous lives. Using prose that is easy and direct throughout, Borgmann’s position is grounded neither by conservative nor liberal ideology, but in his understanding that he is a devoted citizen among many. 

In an age in which the blame game is the only game in town, this patriotic book is an eloquent reminder of the political strength we all wield when we work together.

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From the Publisher

America is a wonderful and magnificent country that affords its citizens the broadest freedoms and the greatest prosperity in the world. But it also has its share of warts. It is embroiled in a war that many of its citizens consider unjust and even illegal. It continues to ravage the natural environment and ignore poverty both at home ...

From the Jacket

America is a magnificent country that affords its citizens the broadest freedoms and the greatest prosperity in the world. But it also has its share of warts. It is embroiled in a war that many of its citizens consider unjust and even illegal. It continues to ravage the natural environment and ignore poverty both at home and abroad, an...

Albert Borgmann is Regents Professor of Philosophy at the University of Montana. He is the author of Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life, Crossing the Postmodern Divide, and Holding On to Reality: The Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium, all published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:232 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:January 8, 2007Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226066347

ISBN - 13:9780226066349

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface  

Introduction: The Place of Ethics          
1 Real American Ethics

2 Decency and Passion

3 Kinds of Ethics         

Part One: Theoretical Ethics     

4 Moral Landmarks     

5 Jefferson and Kant    

6 The Pursuit of Happiness      

7 Evolutionary Psychology       

8 John Rawls   

Part Two: Practical Ethics        

9 Theory and Practice  

10 Personal Virtues     

11 Political Virtues       

Part Three: Real Ethics 

12 Recognizing Reality 

13 The Economy of the Household      

14 The Design of Public Space

15 Realizing American Ethics   

Notes  

Index   

Editorial Reviews

"Solid and insightful. . . . Real American Ethics supports, enriches, and deepens important directions being taken in contemporary American ethics."