Ruth W. Grant

in In Search of Goodness

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780226306834
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226306858 | DOI:

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This book, which addresses how people become good and what a good life looks like, raises the question of whether morality depends on maturity. People's willingness to take risks and to make sacrifices for others is psychologically investigated. The book deals with extraordinary forms of goodness—the people seen as heroes, innocents, or saints—and additionally, discusses how people become better in different sorts of communal relations with others. Reflections on the multiple uses of the word “good” and the question of whether there is anything transcendent or universal that explains the multiplicity are then explained. Emotion, social needs, and knowledge-seeking are all “hardwired,” natural components of the human situation that enable the nurture of morality. Like heroism, innocence seems to be a special and rare form of goodness. The thought is presented that one of the things a good life looks like is a life that includes the search for goodness.

Keywords: morality; maturity; good; heroism; innocence; goodness

Chapter.  3457 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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