CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-Up Idealists

Department

Department of History and Political Science

Publication Date

3-10-2009

Publication Title

Metapsychology Online Reviews

ISSN

1931-5716

Volume

13

Issue/No.

11

Abstract

Excerpt

In Moral Clarity, author Susan Neiman claims to be responding to requests from readers of her previous book, Evil in Modern Thought, to give "an account of my own views in relation to contemporary events" (4). Thus she offers her philosophical training in the effort to "examine philosophical consequences of contemporary political discourse, and offer a framework for alternatives" (5). In so doing, Neiman offers us a decidedly polemical work, but one with solid theoretical grounding. Neiman explains that her last book reinterpreted the history of modern Western philosophy as "the search for the meaning of evil and suffering as seen in the events of their day" (4). Moral Clarity is Neiman's response to contemporary events. More specifically, she examines the "philosophical consequences of contemporary political discourse" and offers a "framework for alternatives" (5). In so doing she attempts to recapture moral language from political conservatives for a floundering left leaning liberalism, so that it can meaningfully talk about and envision a more just future. "This book," says Neiman "aims to reclaim moral concepts that the left no longer uses with full force" (18).

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