Thursday, July 30, 2009

Principles and Stories

Peter Levine's latest book will be out soon. In the meantime, Peter posts the first paragraph of the book:
This is a book about ethics and stories. Ethics (or morality) encompasses what is right or good, what we ought to do, and how laws and institutions should be organized. I argue that a good way to make ethical judgments and decisions is to describe reality in the form of a true narrative. Fictional stories also support moral conclusions that can translate into real life. I argue that when the moral judgments supported by a good story conflict with general principles, we ought to follow the story and amend or suspend our principles, rather than the reverse. What makes a story “good” for this purpose is not its conformity to correct moral principles, but its merits as a narrative--for instance, its perceptiveness and coherence and its avoidance of cliché, sentimentality, and euphemism.

1 comment:

barba de chiva said...

This could be terrible news, if it means that reading is good for me.