From Library Journal
Most moral philosophies lack a firm basis in any credible account of human nature, ignoring both the psychology of emotions and the nature of agency. Since morality is concerned with how to relate to other beings and how to order our interpersonal concerns, this deficiency is a serious shortcoming. Flanagan aims at providing a philosophically circumspect and scientifically informed view of human nature, as it relates both to appraising interpersonal relationships and to illuminating the self and its ideals. Recognizing our extreme plasticity, he denies that any particular way of living or any single type of moral personality can be timelessly vindicated. This book is clearly written and provides a fresh look at the sorts of things that should be considered if moral theories are realistically to contemplate human flourishing. Highly recommended for college collections.- Robert Hoffman, York Coll., CUNY
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Flanagan's book prepares a framework for the balanced interchange between empirical studies and their varied interpretations. Rigorous in its search, the value of this book lies in its capacity to ferret out the conditional bonds between human psychology and ethical expectations. (E. Mark Stern Contemporary Psychology
This book is both stimulating and well-written. It covers a great deal of territory, but is always clear and usually fair. It can be read with profit by psychologists, ethicists, and political philosophers. (Roger Paden Review of Metaphysics
This is a rich and elegantly written book… In Flanagan's writing, no view is dismissed out of hand, none is taken over uncritically thereby exemplifying the same intellectual responsibility he advocates for moral psychology in general. (Thomas E. Wren Journal of Moral Education