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The Moral Commonwealth: Social Theory and the Promise of Community

The Moral Commonwealth: Social Theory and the Promise of Community
Author: Philip Selznick
ISBN 13: 9780520089341
ISBN 10: 520089340
Edition: N/A
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 1994-09-09
Format: Paperback
Pages: 567
List Price: $36.95

"An outstanding accomplishment. This masterful result of a life-long study of social sciences, social philosophy, and ethics yields a book no student of our social or moral foundation, condition, and hence future, can afford to miss."—Amitai Etzioni, author of the Moral Dimension

Library Journal

In recent years, an impassioned debate has raged between old-fashioned liberals and advocates of a ``communitarian'' approach to questions of politics and justice. In his latest book, Berkeley sociologist Selznick attempts to reconcile the two camps by offering a safe middle ground between untempered individualism and narrow-minded conformity. The author accepts that government has an important role to play in our society, but he also values such concepts as personal responsibility, civility, and civic participation. Selznick's preferred synthesis of left and right will sound familiar to anyone who has followed the presidential campaign of Bill Clinton. The most interesting aspect of the book, however, is not its revisionist political profile but its closely argued engagement with intricate questions of social theory. Such notoriously difficult issues as methodological individualism, relativism, and human nature are dealt with in a subtle and informative manner. Recommended for academic libraries.-- Kent Worcester, Social Science Research Council, New York