Date Released: 2008
Page Count: 466
Isbn10 Code: 0271033924
Isbn13 Code: 9780271033921
Review This innovative and clearly written book is a significant contribution to the philosophy of the body, to ethics, and to phenomenology. Sheets-Johnstone, one of the few truly innovative living philosophers, shows that a bona fide understanding of human embodiment elucidates certain foundations of moral behavior, including care, trust, empathy, competition, and xenophobia. In the process, she produces novel interpretations of Hobbes, Hume, Rousseau, and other historical figures, and critiques in an original and persuasive way many sacred cows of contemporary philosophy, such as Derrida, Foucault, and Merleau-Ponty. Sheets-Johnstone's work shows the shallowness of the contemporary fad to stress and respect cultural differences in questions of morality, and demonstrates how embodiment gives rise to pan-cultural commonalities. --Robert P. Crease, SUNY, Stony Brook This innovative and clearly written book is a significant contribution to the philosophy of the body, to ethics, and to phenomenology. --Robert P. Crease, SUNY, Stony Brook The Roots of Morality is the crowning glory of Maxine Sheets-Johnstone's career-long three-volume survey of the sources of human thinking, power, and morals in the operations of human nature. With her trademark erudition and comprehensiveness of thought, drawing dramatically from disciplines as diverse as biology, sociology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and literature, she traces the origins of morality in patterns of human behavior that shape our troubled journey from birth to death. Sheets-Johnstone gives a breath-taking tour of the deep tensions between our aggressive self-interest and our counterbalancing concern for the welfare of others. Along the way, she guides us into the depths of male-male competition, the cultural origins of war, our reliance on ideologies of immortality to flee from death, and the empathic strands of our nature that make possible our capacities for care, nurturance, and trust. --Mark Johnson, University of Oregon About the Author Maxine Sheets-Johnstone is an independent scholar affiliated with the Department of Philosophy, University of Oregon. This volume is the third in a series of studies about "roots." The previous volumes are The Roots of Thinking (1990) and The Roots of Power (1994).
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