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NCJ Number: 127132 Find in a Library
Title: Morality, Politics, and Law
Author(s): M J Perry
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 323
Sponsoring Agency: Oxford University Press, Inc
New York, NY 10016
Publication Number: ISBN D-19-506456-9
Sale Source: Oxford University Press, Inc
198 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book discusses the proper relation of moral beliefs, including moral beliefs religious in character, to politics and law in a morally pluralistic society.
Abstract: The discussion first sketches a particular understanding -- a naturalist or neo-Aristotelian understanding -- of "moral." Two basic problems in the naturalist conception of morality are then discussed: epistemological relativism and anthropological relativism. The truth in both sorts of relativism explains the appeal of the liberal political-philosophical project, i.e., the effort to imagine a politics that is "neutral" or "impartial" among competing conceptions of human good. Such a conception is impossible to achieve, however, because an individual's participation in politics and law is based on personal convictions about human good. The book discusses three problems -- coercive legislation, conscientious disobedience, and constitutional adjudication -- to show that participation in politics and law rests in particular moral/religious convictions. The book argues for a deliberative, transformative politics, as distinct from a politics that is merely manipulative and self-serving. The prime constituent of a deliberative, transformative politics is productive moral discourse with one another. Such discourse is essential in a morally pluralistic society, so as to avoid political and legislative manipulation and repression. Moral discourse in politics and law permits the forging of a society whose norms reflect elements of the moral values of all who participate in its life. Chapter notes, appended supplementary discussions, and a subject index
Main Term(s): Jurisprudence
Index Term(s): Moral development; Political influences
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