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Morals and Stories

by Tobin Siebers

  • ISBN: 9780231078467
  • ISBN10: 0231078463

Morals and Stories

by Tobin Siebers

  • List Price: $34.50
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 04/01/1992
  • ISBN: 9780231078467
  • ISBN10: 0231078463
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Description: In our time, philosophers have tried to distance themselves from stories, while literary critics have tried to detach themselves from morals. As a result, morals and stories have been separated and their obvious connections ignored. Tobin Siebers insists that morals and stories are inseparable and that literature should have a place in our thinking about the world. Morals and Stories holds that literature is a form of knowledge about moral character and how it fits into the social world, and that stories are vital to building--and transforming--character. With polished, lucid prose, Siebers examines a wide variety of authors, ranging from Plato, Homer, and Aesop to Austen and Tolstoy, as well as contemporary African novelist Chinua Achebe. The author focuses on the political and philosophical theories of Immanuel Kant, Hannah Arendt, and Bernard Williams, and on literary critics such as Fredric Jameson, J. Hillis Miller, and Julia Kristeva. Throughout Siebers stresses the power of stories as essential to philosophy. Literature reflects our knowledge about the world just as philosophy does, and both are needed--deriving morals from stories--to teach ourselves ethics. Siebers illuminates this relationship by including many charming stories and poignant narratives. Morals and Stories places the stories of our lives, according to Siebers, "in the immediate context of the political and ethical demands that we face when confronted by the horrors of political tyranny, totalitarianism, the Holocaust, and death, or the joys of romance, friendship, marriage, and beloved objects and places". Siebers makes his arguments accessible, imparting a worldly wisdom with clarity and passion, so that we mayuse the reading to reflect on what concerns us most: our own lives.
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