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Theories of justice, argues Virginia Held, are usually designed for a perfect, hypothetical world. They do not give us guidelines for living in an imperfect world in which the choices and decisions that we must make are seldom clear-cut. Seeking a morality based on actual experience, Held offers a method of inquiry with which to deal with the specific moral problems encountered in daily life. She argues that the division between public and private morality is misleading and shows convincingly that moral judgment should be contextual. She maps out different approaches and positions for various types of issues, including membership in a state, legal decisions, political activities, economic transactions, interpersonal relations, diplomacy, journalism, and determining our obligation to future generations. Issues such as these provide the true test of moral theory, since its success is seen in the willingness ofconscientious persons to commit themselves to it by acting on it in their daily lives. "

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780226325880
ISBN-10: 0226325881
Format: Paperback
(230mm x 152mm x 18mm)
Pages: 336
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 1-Aug-1989
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Virginia Held

Virginia Held is professor of philosophy at the City University of New York, Graduate School and Hunter College. She is the author of "The Public Interest and Individual Interests," coauthor of "Women's Realities, Women's Choices," and editor of "Property, Profits, and Economic Justice," among other works.

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