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Decent People by Norman S. Care


Decent People by Norman S. Care

In Decent People, Norman Care explores how we may understand and be reconciled to the fragility of our moral nature. In his highly original vision of what it means to be a decent person, Care claims that our moral-emotional nature pressures us to seek relief from moralized pain - pain that comes from our awareness of our own wrongdoing, the suffering of current or future people, and our experience of indifference to moral imperatives. Care argues that decent people are neither 'pure' nor self-righteous and that they are vulnerable to the need for forgiveness. Decent people may take morality seriously, but they are not guaranteed success at its challenges.


The best feature of the book is its organizing vision-one of deep humanistic sensitivity. -- Jeffrie Murphy Care has performed a valuable service by examining the variety of motivating factors that support a moral life. His caution and reluctance to accept easy answers are commendable. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association It is a distinctive feature of this engaging book that it contrives to be both unsettling and comforting at the same time. Practical Philosophy Norman Care writes lucidly and engagingly, without technical jargon. His ideas speak to concerns everyone has, or should have. This often subtle and highly nuanced book makes in important contribution to philosophical ethics in the ways that it takes emotional responses seriously. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research As part of his on-going project of becoming reconciled to the human condition, Norman Care asks how we are to respond to the apparent fact that people are, from time to time, simply indifferent to what they would even admit were serious moral issues. In taking up related issues, he considers the thorny problem of how to motivate concern for very distant future generations, which makes an important contribution to enviornmental ethics. One of the refreshing things about Norman Care's work is that he is impossible to classify, he appears to have no axes to grind, and he defines issues for himself in a novel way. -- Claudia Card

About the Author

Norman S. Care is professor of philosophy at Oberlin College.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st October 2000


Norman S. Care

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield


224 pages


Ethics & moral philosophy



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