Book

Real American Ethics

Albert Borgmann

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780226066349
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226066356 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226066356.001.0001
Real American Ethics

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America is a country that affords its citizens the broadest freedoms and the greatest prosperity in the world. But it is also 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 this work, are we failing to take responsibility for it? The author 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—the author considers the power of our most enduring institutions and the condition of our present moral makeup to propose 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 direct throughout, the author's position is grounded neither by conservative nor liberal ideology, but in his understanding that he is a devoted citizen among many.

Keywords: America; prosperity; war; poverty; materialism; consumerism; American values; Winston Churchill; citizens; freedoms

Book.  256 pages. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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Table of Contents

Real American Ethics in Real American Ethics

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Decency and Passion in Real American Ethics

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Kinds of Ethics in Real American Ethics

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Moral Landmarks in Real American Ethics

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Jefferson and Kant in Real American Ethics

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John Rawls in Real American Ethics

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Theory and Practice in Real American Ethics

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Personal Virtues in Real American Ethics

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