A sometimes provocative but simplistic discussion of morality in the form of a Platonic dialogue between a Manhattan publisher and his party guests.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In her latest contribution to liberal theory, Jacobs ( Cities and the Wealth of Nations , LJ 6/15/84) argues that modern societies utilize two distinctive moral systems--one being suited to the world of commerce, the other to the world of politics. Commercial morality is unsentimental, nonpartisan, and efficacious; political morality is personalistic, expansive, and vaguely altruistic. The problem is that we don't always know which system of morality to employ in concrete situations. Furthermore, the wrong choice can have disastrous consequences. Unfortunately, Jacobs invents a rather wooden cast of characters who engage in a Socratic dialog that reproduces the author's perspective on the two fundamental types of morality. As a result, the book's credible philosophical message becomes obscured by the superficiality and hamfistedness of the characters' conversations. A few readers may find Jacobs's literary device helpful; most will find it distracting. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 8/92.
- Kent Worcester, Social Science Research Council, New York
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is a second copy I buy.
The first got lost in my library.
Platonic dialogues very interesting.
Those who believe in dualities, and those that don't.
Very hearty food for thought. I am a little surprised that I don't see folks making the connection between the... Read more
I read everything Jane Jacobs wrote, she was a wonderful author and considerable thinker, no longer with us sad to say as she died in the early 80s.Published 9 months ago by cebepe
Astounding book. Let's take an example from the first few chapters.
Is it right or wrong to lie? Of course, it's wrong -- honesty is an obvious moral ideal. Read more
Speaking as guardian who has spent his life as a commercial I found this book very enlightening. It's a brilliant exposition of the tensions between the two systems and the way... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Baraniecki Mark Stuart
Jane Jacobs was one of the most original and profound thinkers of the last hundred years, with the ability to prove conventional thought wrong on many subjects. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Howard L. Brady
The book is presented as a fictional debate between the characters as they sort through human value systems. Read morePublished on June 1, 2013 by Stephen Walli
Awesome discussion about the need for balance between government (the guardians) and commerce. Well researched and documented, conveyed in conversational style. I loved it.Published on August 16, 2011 by Ken Deshaies
The amazing thing about reading Jane Jacobs is that she intuitively understands what she examines. She writes as a true intellectual - broadly finding relationships based upon... Read morePublished on March 8, 2010 by Burton Robinson