Moral Sense by James Q. Wilson
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Moral Sense
By James Q. Wilson

The Moral Sense

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Format: Paperback

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Moral Sense by James Q. Wilson

Book Description

The classic and controversial argument that morality is based in human nature.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780684833323
ISBN-10: 0684833328
Format: Paperback
(214mm x 139mm x 25mm)
Pages: 336
Imprint: The Free Press
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: 6-Nov-1997
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author James Q. Wilson

Understanding America by James Q. Wilson Understanding America, Paperback (May 2009)

A rich, thought-provoking exploration of America's quintessential values, institutions, and challenges, by the nation's top scholars

Who Really Cares by James Q. Wilson Who Really Cares, Paperback (January 2008)

Surprising proof that conservatives really are more compassionate--and more generous--than liberals

Moral Judgment by James Q. Wilson Moral Judgment, Paperback (March 1998)

"In Moral Judgment, James Q. Wilson demonstrates how our judicial system has compromised its obligation to discriminate between right and wrong. Citing highly publicized verdicts, he makes an erudite c"

» View all books by James Q. Wilson


US Kirkus Review » A slow-paced but utterly intriguing examination of the development of the "moral sense" that governs human conduct in all cultures and times. Wilson (Management and Public Policy/UCLA; On Character, 1991, etc.) contends that most modern sociologies and psychologies are flawed insofar as they maintain that there's no such thing as an identifiable "human nature" that will develop under most circumstances without external coercion. The legal theories of John Rawls, the political agendas of Marx and Lenin, and much of Freudian psychology were organized around this idea - which Wilson claims to be demonstrably false. Basing his own theory upon a large body of experimental research, Wilson holds that the development of empathy, conscience, and altruism is a natural process that takes place as an inevitable response to the contradictions of childhood socialization. "We learn to cope with the people of this world," Wilson says, "because we learn to cope with the members of our family." The family is the crucial element in the process, and Wilson points to the weakening of the family bond as the root of most of today's social dysfunctionalism. Parts of his argument - particularly his pessimism regarding the effects of nonmaternal child care - will be a provocation to orthodox feminists, but there's nothing doctrinaire or simplistic in Wilson's critique of our current wisdoms. (His extensive notes and bibliography will be useful to scholars interested in the field.) Dry and overly anecdotal at times, but Wilson manages to take sociology out of the realm of theory without reducing it to policy. A refreshing and timely work. (Kirkus Reviews)

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