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Of Mottos and Morals: Simple Words for Complex Virtues (Hardback)
  • Of Mottos and Morals: Simple Words for Complex Virtues (Hardback)
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Of Mottos and Morals: Simple Words for Complex Virtues (Hardback)

(author)
£47.95
Hardback 178 Pages / Published: 13/12/2012
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Whether in slogans, catchphrases, adages or proverbs, we encounter mottos every day, but we rarely take time to reflect on them. In Of Mottos and Morals: Simple Words for Complex Virtues, Martin explores the possibility that mottos themselves are worthy of serious thought, examining how they contribute to moral guidance and help us grapple with complexity.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442221291
Number of pages: 178
Weight: 395 g
Dimensions: 236 x 157 x 20 mm


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Martin has done something exciting and rare, providing readers with a real treat: he has blended historically-rooted philosophy with our every-day experience in a way that makes them both richer. The mottos and phrases addressed help us to truly connect with typically...abstract philosophy. And just as exciting, the profound insights which academic philosophy offers-and which often go unappreciated-greatly enhance our lives. Of Mottos and Morals walks this balance extremely well, giving us a wonderful contribution to philosophy while also providing the reader something they can immediately apply. All the while, the writing is both accessible and true to the philosophers and theories it explores. "Know thyself," indeed. Socrates would be most proud. -- Jack Bowen, Menlo School, author of If You Can Read This: The Philosophy of Bumper Stickers
Martin has done something exciting and rare, providing readers with a real treat: he has blended historically-rooted philosophy with our every-day experience in a way that makes them both richer. The mottos and phrases addressed help us to truly connect with typically...abstract philosophy. And just as exciting, the profound insights which academic philosophy offers-and which often go unappreciated-greatly enhance our lives. Of Mottos and Morals walks this balance extremely well, giving us a wonderful contribution to philosophy while also providing the reader something they can immediately apply. All the while, the writing is both accessible and true to the philosophers and theories it explores. "Know thyself," indeed. Socrates would be most proud. -- Elliot D. Cohen, author of The New Rational Therapy: Thinking Your Way to Serenity, Success, and Profound Happiness
In his essay "How Not to Solve Ethical Problems," Harvard philosopher Hilary Putnam quipped, "When a philosopher 'solves' an ethical problem for one, one feels as if he had asked for a subway token and had been given a passenger ticket valid for the first interplanetary passenger-carrying spaceship instead." Martin (Chapman Univ.) has spent a career overcoming this stereotype. Known for his work in professional ethics, he has produced a number of thoughtful works in ethics that are aimed at students and nonacademics, such as Happiness and the Good Life (CH, Aug'12, 49-6812). In the present book, the author makes the case that mottos--such as "Look before you leap" or its contrary, "He who hesitates is lost"--are not simplistic sound bites, but rather are fecund tools for coping in the world. He enunciates four generic functions of mottos: expressing the identity of individuals and groups; providing guidance as ends and means of behavior; motivating actions and habits; and justifying actions and policies. Along the way, Martin illustrates how mottos relate to both normative ethics and virtue ethics. The writing is straightforward and jargon free, without talking down to the reader. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers * CHOICE *

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