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Memoir Ethics: Good Lives and the Virtues

Hardcover - 10 February 2016
Rp 3,308,000
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Memoir Ethics: Good Lives and the Virtues is a philosophical study of moral themes in memoirs, exploring how memoirists present and defend perspectives on good lives. It pays particular attention to the interplay of the virtues, including their interplay with additional (non-moral) types of values in good lives. More generally, it explores the relevance of memoir to moral philosophy, and in turn how moral philosophy enters into elucidating and critiquing memoirs. Memoirs are understood as non-fiction narratives written by oneself and significantly about oneself (including full-life autobiographies). Mike W. Martin explores perspectives on good lives as they are expressed in memoirs written by both philosophers and non-philosophers. Most of the chapters focus on one of the generic aspects of good lives: moral goodness, authenticity, meaningfulness, happiness, health, and self-fulfillment. The book clarifies how memoirists often employ life-based arguments in defending value perspectives, and it includes a discussion of whether philosophers' memoirs are distinctive, compared to memoirs by non-philosophers and also compared to other forums for doing philosophy. Martin highlights some parallels between features of good lives and features of memoirs; for example, both can be said to be meaningful, authentic, and having virtues such as wisdom and courage. Demonstrating how memoirs are rich resources in exploring the good lives and exploring ways in which philosophical ethics provide tools for interpreting memoirs, Memoir Ethics will be of interest to a broad audience of students, scholars, and general readers, including anyone interested in ethics or the connections between literature and philosophy.

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