James Q Wilson Moral Sense

ISBN 13: 9780029354056

Moral Sense

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9780029354056: Moral Sense
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Uses data gathered from diverse scientific disciplines to argue that the origin and development of moral reasoning do have a biological basis. By the author of Thinking about Crime. 30,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

James Q. Wilson is James Collins professor of management and public policy at UCLA. Winner of the 1990, James Madison Award of the American Political Science Association, he is also the author of Moral Judgement.

From Kirkus Reviews:

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. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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9780684833323: The Moral Sense (Free Press Paperback)

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ISBN 10:  0684833328 ISBN 13:  9780684833323
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9780029354063: Moral Sense

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