Desires, Right and Wrong: The Ethics of Enough

Mortimer Jerome Adler, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $22.95 (200p) ISBN 978-0-02-500281-4
Adler, author of The Dialectic of Morals and America's philosopher for everyman, presents a thorough study of morality in the modern age, examining ``real'' and ``apparent'' good (defined respectively as needs and wants) and ``right'' versus ``wrong'' desires. Stating his positions clearly for the general reader, he reaffirms his Aristotelian roots by defining moral virtue as ``the habit of right desire.'' Excessive desires--for example, gluttony and lust--mistake means for ends; these, like the desire for fame or power, cannot in themselves produce happiness; only by acting out higher moral values that contribute to the total good can one really be happy. Adler, chairman of Encyclopaedia Britannica 's editorial board, is comfortable with Western philosophy from Plato to Kant and gifted at making his arguments understandable. His treatise will reward readers weary of 20th-century materialism. BOMC dividend. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 289 pages - 978-1-60419-046-5
Hardcover - 978-0-02-500572-3
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