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Ethical life : its natural and social histories / Webb Keane.

By: Keane, Webb, 1955- [author.].
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2016]Copyright date: ©2016Description: 1 online resource (xii, 289 pages).Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 1400873592; 9781400873593.Subject(s): Ethics -- Anthropological aspects | Ethics, Evolutionary | Ethics -- Social aspectsAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Ethical life.DDC classification: 170 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Part One: Natures -- Introduction: Ethical affordances, awareness, and actions -- Psychologies of ethics -- Part Two: Interactions -- Selves and others -- Problematizing interaction -- Ethical types -- Part Three: Histories -- Awareness and change -- Making morality in religion -- Making morality in political revolution -- Conclusion.
Summary: "The human propensity to take an ethical stance toward oneself and others is found in every known society, yet we also know that values taken for granted in one society can contradict those in another. Does ethical life arise from human nature itself? Is it a universal human trait? Or is it a product of one's cultural and historical context? Webb Keane offers a new approach to the empirical study of ethical life that reconciles these questions, showing how ethics arise at the intersection of human biology and social dynamics. Drawing on the latest findings in psychology, conversational interaction, ethnography, and history, Ethical Life takes readers from inner city America to Samoa and the Inuit Arctic to reveal how we are creatures of our biology as well as our history--and how our ethical lives are contingent on both. Keane looks at Melanesian theories of mind and the training of Buddhist monks, and discusses important social causes such as the British abolitionist movement and American feminism. He explores how styles of child rearing, notions of the person, and moral codes in different communities elaborate on certain basic human tendencies while suppressing or ignoring others. Certain to provoke debate, Ethical Life presents an entirely new way of thinking about ethics, morals, and the factors that shape them."-- Amazon.com.
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Print version record.

"The human propensity to take an ethical stance toward oneself and others is found in every known society, yet we also know that values taken for granted in one society can contradict those in another. Does ethical life arise from human nature itself? Is it a universal human trait? Or is it a product of one's cultural and historical context? Webb Keane offers a new approach to the empirical study of ethical life that reconciles these questions, showing how ethics arise at the intersection of human biology and social dynamics. Drawing on the latest findings in psychology, conversational interaction, ethnography, and history, Ethical Life takes readers from inner city America to Samoa and the Inuit Arctic to reveal how we are creatures of our biology as well as our history--and how our ethical lives are contingent on both. Keane looks at Melanesian theories of mind and the training of Buddhist monks, and discusses important social causes such as the British abolitionist movement and American feminism. He explores how styles of child rearing, notions of the person, and moral codes in different communities elaborate on certain basic human tendencies while suppressing or ignoring others. Certain to provoke debate, Ethical Life presents an entirely new way of thinking about ethics, morals, and the factors that shape them."-- Amazon.com.

Part One: Natures -- Introduction: Ethical affordances, awareness, and actions -- Psychologies of ethics -- Part Two: Interactions -- Selves and others -- Problematizing interaction -- Ethical types -- Part Three: Histories -- Awareness and change -- Making morality in religion -- Making morality in political revolution -- Conclusion.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 263-280).

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

This far-reaching discussion of ethical life and moral systems by anthropologist Keane (Michigan) aspires to combine the traditions of what he calls "natural history" (from fields such as neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, and biological anthropology) with those of "social history," which includes history, cultural anthropology, sociology, and sociolinguistics. Instead of seeing these different perspectives as contradictory or mutually exclusive, Keane's thesis is that "where natural and social histories converge, we can gain new insights into ethical life." His book applies this combined approach to a culturally wide range of examples taken from ethnography and history, considering in turn the realms of psychology, everyday interactions, and social movements. Along the way, Keane addresses a variety of theoretical issues as well as methodological and philosophical questions. This rich and original study will certainly fascinate anyone with an intellectual interest in morality and ethics. An important book for university libraries. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above. --Jack Stauder, University of Massachusetts--Dartmouth

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Webb Keane is the George Herbert Mead Collegiate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Christian Moderns: Freedom and Fetish in the Mission Encounter and Signs of Recognition: Powers and Hazards of Representation in an Indonesian Society .

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