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Neither Beasts Nor Gods: Civic Life and the Public Good

Neither Beasts Nor Gods: Civic Life and the Public Good (Hardback)

£21.95
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Synopsis

Contemporary Americans often view politics as a necessary evil. This cogent and original work uses the ancient philosophical/political tradition of the West to rehabilitate the high vocation of the politician and the citizen in the modern world. Kane seeks to locate human beings and such philosophical notions as the public good, public virtue, public speech, and public action in the complicated middle between the bestial and the divine. To live as best we can on that middle path is, he believes, our vocation as citizens. The classical tradition comes alive in fresh ways as Kane applies it to key contemporary events and figures, from Elizabeth Bouvia (who wanted medical practitioners to help her die) to Rosa Parks (who wanted equal treatment on a city bus). By paying close attention to our public transactions, Kane shows how the reality of the common good operates in our lives. Kane contends that we are more likely to rediscover our political selves not in broad national or international forums but in our local communities where character can be displayed and authentic speech and action become possible. Aimed at a broad interdisciplinary and inter-professional audience, Kane's book is accessible to the interested citizen. Weaving through the tangled web of contemporary politics, including issues of character and virtue, Kane sails against the prevailing currents of strident individualism and political cynicism.

FRANCIS KANE teaches political philosophy, ethics, biomedical ethics, and ancient philosophy at Salisbury State University in Maryland, where he recently stepped down after sixteen years as chair of the philosophy department. He has written extensively for such publications as "The ""Hastings"" ""Center"" Report, Religion and the Intellectual Life, Commonweal," and the "New York Times Book Review." He and his wife are the parents of five sons.

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