A Passion for Justice: Emotions and the Origins of the Social Contract

Robert C. Solomon, Author
Robert C. Solomon, Author Addison Wesley Publishing Company $22.95 (328p) ISBN 978-0-201-12966-3
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Our sense of justice, argues Solomon, is primarily emotional: caring and compassion are moral sentiments that nurture a sense of justice, as do negative emotions like resentment, outrage and vengefulness. Justice is a passion, not an abstract set of principles, insists this University of Texas philosopher ( About Love ). He further maintains that humans are essentially sociable and altruistic and that justice is an inborn sense of our connectedness with others. Written with eloquence and passionate intelligence, his exposition is cheerfully at odds with the reigning tradition of ethical thought, from Immanuel Kant down to John Rawls. Solomon wrestles with such issues as inequality of wealth, sentimentality, tradition vs. change. His provocative book offers a tool for looking at our actions, our institutions and the hideously unjust world we inhabit. (Sept.)
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