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Hard Questions


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Table of Contents

A Note to the Reader

Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: Is There an Absolute Value?
Chapter Three: Must We Conform?
Chapter Four: Do We Owe What Our Country Asks of Us?
Chapter Five: Is Justice Necessary?
Chapter Six: How Should We Respond to Evil?
Chapter Seven: Is it Right to Forgive Wrong Actions?
Chapter Eight: Is Shame Good?
Chapter Nine: Should We Be True to Who We Are?
Chapter Ten: Do Good Intentions Justify Bad Actions?
Chapter Eleven: Should Moral Evaluations Be Overriding?
Chapter Twelve: Conclusion

About the Author

John Kekes is the author of many books, including The Roots of Evil (Cornell University Press), Enjoyment (OUP), The Human Condition (OUP), and How Should We Live? (Chicago University Press). He has been visiting professor in Canada, England, Estonia, Hungary, Portugal, Singapore, and the United States Military Academy.


"Hard Questions is a literate and compelling example of the sort of adventure Kekes is recommending philosophers and the rest of us to undertake." -- Philosophy
"This extraordinary book of practical philosophy is carefully organized, clearly written, and filled with illuminating discussions of compelling examples. Kekes presses gently, relentlessly, and provocatively for the irreducible plurality of conflicting values within our lives, and the absence of any absolute value, abstract moral principle, or controlling moral commitment that resolves those conflicts in hard cases. His remedy for this is equally clear, and
equally provocative."--Lawrence C. Becker, Kenan Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, College of William and Mary, and author of Habilitation, Health, and Agency: A Framework for Basic Justice
"This book poses questions of ethics, broadly-construed, but they involve metaphysics (for example, duties to God, questions about the origins of evil, whether the cosmos is just) and epistemology. John Kekes√Ęs focus is on reasons for different answers to each question. He writes with such sympathy and wisdom that readers can see both sides, with two opposing answers to each question often as good for the person or group that holds them. This is a
well-written and smart book, and the reader will know herself in the hands of a learned and thoughtful guide."--Owen Flanagan, James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy, Duke University

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