Social evils and social good

A.C. Grayling

in Contemporary social evils

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9781847424099
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301981 | DOI:
Social evils and social good

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This chapter is similarly convinced of the ‘liberating power’ of self-discipline, but is sceptical about many claims about declining values, disintegrating communities and family breakdown. It wants to question and challenge some of the attitudes and views expressed in the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) consultation, beginning with the four main evils identified. Taking issue with participants in the JRF consultation over the four most salient social evils does not, however, entail disagreement with six other social evils that were frequently identified. Here too, though, there is a need for qualification and care. All societies have problems at all phases of their history, and the task is to understand and cope with them. The complexity, diversity and benefits of social living carry costs that we do our best to minimise and change, as part of the responsibility as joint curators of society.

Keywords: liberating power; social evils; social good; declining values; disintegrating communities; family breakdown

Chapter.  4310 words. 

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