Moral Freedom by Alan Wolfe
The Search for Virtue in a World of Choice

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Synopsis

Eminent sociologist and public intellectual Alan Wolfe asked Americans what they felt was the difference between right and wrong; what it meant to them to lead a good life; how binding they felt marriage vows were; what they felt their obligations were to an employer; to friends and to themselves; and whether it was always immoral to tell a lie. He asked such questions in order to determine how they really think about morality today in this exhilarating and unnerving era of moral freedom. Wolfe discovered that while values have changed, they are far from absent. Americans of all stripes - from the most radical to the most traditional - want to lead a good life, but in almost every case they are determined to decide for themselves what a good life means. Focusing on traditional virtues of loyalty, honesty, self-restraint and forgiveness, "Moral Freedom" reveals the complexities of living in a society where rather than simply accepting strict conventions, individuals struggle to forge a moral life.
 

About Alan Wolfe

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Alan Wolfe is the director of the Boisi Center for Religion & American Public Life at Boston College, & author of the best-selling "One Nation After All".
 
Published April 1, 2001 by W. W. Norton & Company. 224 pages
Genres: Law & Philosophy, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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A wide-reaching survey regarding the moral ramifications of “the way we live now”—which, as always, seems fraught with compromise and lonely abnegations.

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Moral freedom, Wolfe notes, ""means that individuals should determine for themselves what it means to lead a good and virtuous life."" He traces the rise of moral freedom to the 1960s and 1970s, and contends that, although it may have some regrettable consequences, this individualistic and pragma...

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