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The Ties That Bind

Julius M. Moravcsik, Professor of Philosophy, Stanford University.

This book, like in classical times of Plato and Aristotle, treats individual and communal ethics as intertwined. At its heart lies the quartet of respect, concern for welfare of others, trust, and care as the basic communal ties. The community needs to be built on these. Acquisition and practice of other values and goods are within the frame of the four underlying "pillars." The four basic notions are attitudes and as such consist of both rational and emotional elements. Thus our ethics is neither based purely on sentiment nor purely on reason. As such they will yield us guidelines, to be filled in contextually, not rigid rule systems. Moravcsik's proposal for ethics is pluralistic but not relativistic. It does not deny some objective ground for sound communal life, but leaves many alternatives within which the four basic ties can be implemented.

We live in a chaotic world, not only on the practical but also on the conceptual plane. This seems to be a good time for exploring radically different foundations for communal and individual ideals; foundations that have some of their roots in ancient times.


Introductory Remarks in Face of Today's Problems; Preface; Introduction; Part I The Ethics of Ideals Chapter I. The Outline of the Ethics of Ideals; Chapter II. Ideals and Attitudes; Chapter III. Individual and Social-Political Ethics Intertwined, Part II. Communal Ties in an value-based Community Introduction to Part II.; Chapter IV. Developing Adequate Communal Ties; Chapter V. Freedom, Responsibility, Work and communal Life; Chapter VI. The Roots of Justice; Sharing and Good Ties; Epilogue; Bibliography


308 pages
ISBN 978-963-9241-79-4 cloth $47.95 / €42.95 / £40.00