Ethics Between Philosophy and Social Theory
An Interdisciplinary Approach to Finding the Good in the World
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Offering the first interdisciplinary engagement with what it means to study the good as a fundamental aspect of social life, this volume brings together theoretical contributions and ethnographic case studies from leading international scholars to address the following questions: What does it mean to study the good as an aspect of social and cultural life? How does focusing on the good enhance and refocus social theory? How do different disciplinary perspectives on the good challenge and enrich each other? To what extent is the concept of the good analytically and conceptually productive, and how should we situate this in relation to debates surrounding the study of ethics and values? What are the interrelations between between power and inequality and a ‘politics of hope’, between suffering and moral aspiration, and between the ethical and the political?With case studies looking at the good in particular related to ethics in general, ethics in a Jewish ethnography, the morality that results in a post-conflict context, and the social life of moral symbols, this is a diverse and wide-ranging collection bound tightly by the central focus of how we can think about the good from a variety of disciplinary angles. This will be of importance to students of Christian ethics, philosophy, anthropology and sociology.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The Good, Ethical Life, and the Revival of Social Theory, David Henig, Utrecht University, the Netherlands, Joel Robbins, University of Cambridge, UK, Anna Strhan, University of York, UKPART I – THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES2. Where is the Good in the World? Joel Robbins, University of Cambridge, UK3. Nowhere and EverywhereMichael Lambek, University of Toronto, Canada4. The Good and the Social Life of Moral Symbols: A Cultural Sociological ApproachGordon Lynch, University of Kent, UK5. Fact Objects, Fairy-Objects, and the Anthropology of ‘the Good’ Yvonne Sherwood, University of Kent, UK6. Anthropology, Ethnography and Ethics Victor Seidler, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK7. Social Suffering and the Ethical (Re)Turn in Social Inquiry Iain Wilkinson, University of Kent, UKComment on Part One Steven Lukes, New York University, USAPART II: APPROACHING THE GOOD IN EVERYDAY LIFE8. Ethical Transcendence and Ordinary LifeCheryl Mattingly, University of Southern California, USA9. Three Kinds of Claim about the Good in Particular and Ethics in GeneralJonathan Mair, University of Kent, UK10. Evangelical Imaginations of Justice Anna Strhan, University of York, UK11. Locating an Elusive Ethics: Surface and Depth in a Jewish EthnographyRuth Sheldon, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK12. Radical Hope on the Plain of the Ordinary in Postwar Bosnia-HerzegovinaDavid Henig, Utrecht University, the NetherlandsComment on Part Two Michael Carrithers, Durham University, UKComparative AfterwordJames Laidlaw, University of Cambridge, UKBibliographyIndex
David Henig is Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.Joel Robbins is Sigrid Rausing Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, UK.Anna Strhan is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of York, UK.