229 x 152 mm, 168 pp
English, 2008/01
ISBN: 978-962-996-380-4
Price:US$33.00


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Ethics in Action
Workable Guideline for Private and Public Choices
Donald Munro
Tang Chun-I Lecture Series
The Chinese University Press

In the United States it is common and easy for a politician to say something like, “There is a moral imperative to ensure that quality affordable health care is available to all Americans.” But, as Munro points out, most such speakers never tell us what the content of such a moral standard is, and if it is applicable to all societies. To try to fill that gap, Munro chose the subject matter in this book. Part One draws on recent findings in the cognitive sciences and in evolutionary psychology to identify ethical principles that are likely to help us humans to succeed biologically as individuals, and, also, as cooperative groups. Part Two applies those principles to two practical problems of special relevance to China: moral complexities in choices about global warming, and the absence of consistency in the Chinese legal system. Munro finishes the book with his own appearances in two interviews, one about Tang Junyi’s legacy (Munro studied with Tang in 1962) and the other about critical challenges to his works on Chinese philosophy since the 1960s.

Donald J. Munro received his A.B. from Harvard College in 1953 and Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1964. Before retiring in 1995, Donald Munro was Chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan, as well as Professor of Philosophy and of Chinese. Since his retirement, he has published two books, one on political epistemology in modern China and the other on a Chinese ethics for the new century. The present volume has roots in some themes from the latter book, as well as new material from his long participation in the Programs in Culture and Cognition, and Evolution and Human Adaptation at Michigan. Among his earlier works is a trilogy of books on Chinese theories of human nature and their reflections in Chinese educational and social control practices. He lives with his wife in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States, and in a rustic cabin in northern Michigan.

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