Reciprocity (Routledge Revivals): 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Reciprocity (Routledge Revivals)

1st Edition

By Lawrence C. Becker


436 pages

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The tendency to reciprocate – to return good for good and evil for evil – is a potent force in human life, and the concept of reciprocity is closely connected to fundamental notions of ‘justice’, ‘obligation’ or ‘duty’, ‘gratitude’ and ‘equality’.

In Reciprocity, first published in 1986,Lawrence Becker presents a sustained argument about reciprocity, beginning with the strategy for developing a moral theory of the virtues. He considers the concept of reciprocity in detail, contending that it is a basic virtue that provides the basis for parental authority, obligations to future generations, and obedience to law.

Throughout the first two parts of the book, Becker intersperses short pieces of his own narrative fiction to enrich reflection on the philosophical arguments. The final part is devoted to extensive bibliographical essays, ranging over anthropology, psychology, political theory and law, as well as the relevant ethics and political philosophy.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; A Note about Form; Part 1: Theory Introduction to Part 1 1. The General Concept of Morality 2. Moral Theory 3. Reciprocity 4. Virtues and Priorities 5. Virtue, Social Structure, and Obligation; Part 2: Practice Introduction to Part 2 6. Families; Friends 7. Future Generations 8: Law; Part 3: Scholium Introduction to Part 3; Notes on Form; Notes to Chapter 1; Notes to Chapter 2; Notes to Chapter 3; Notes to Chapter 4; Notes to Chapter 5; Notes to Chapter 6; Notes to ‘Friends’; Notes to Chapter 7; Notes to Chapter 8; Index of Names; Index of Subjects

About the Series

Routledge Revivals

Are there elusive titles that you need and have been trying to source for years but thought that you would never be able to find?

Well this may be the end of your quest – here is a fantastic opportunity for you to discover past brilliance and purchase previously out of print and unavailable titles by some of the world’s most eminent academic scholars.

Drawing from over 100 years of innovative, cutting-edge publishing, Routledge Revivals is an exciting programme whereby key titles from the distinguished and extensive backlist of the many acclaimed imprints associated with Routledge will be re-issued.

The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

If you are interested in Revivals in the Behavioral Sciences, please visit

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy