Realizing American Ethics

Albert Borgmann

in Real American Ethics

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780226066349
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226066356 | DOI:
Realizing American Ethics

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This chapter argues that in order to discover the common and compelling vision of the good life and the good society that has beckoned and eluded us, we need to realize what ethics demands of us, in both senses of realizing—we have yet to recognize the need for it, and unsurprisingly, we still have to give it a commanding and tangible shape. Like Jefferson, we should center our lives in our homes, among family, friends, and neighbors. Once we have gathered at the dinner table, wisdom and friendship can be ours, and they in turn can give us the courage to join with our neighbors in the design of a public realm that encourages celebration. Perhaps we can draw from common celebrations the generosity and resourcefulness to meet our obligations of justice and stewardship. Thus, the United States may become the country of grace that the people who came here have searched for and worked for.

Keywords: good life; good society; American society; grace; wisdom; justice; stewardship

Chapter.  4888 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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