The Moral Habitat

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2022.08.05 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Barbara Herman, The Moral Habitat, Oxford University Press, 2021, 249pp., $40.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780192896353.

Reviewed by Karl Ameriks, University of Notre Dame

This is an outstanding book: wide-ranging, beautifully written, well-organized, tightly argued, worth reading by any philosopher. It builds on Barbara Herman’s earlier path-breaking volumes, The Practice of Moral Judgment (1993) and Moral Literacy (2007). Herman’s third set of essays is not quite like the culmination of Kant‘s three Critiques, but this most recent volume—soon to be complemented by a fourth collection, Kantian Commitments—has an organic unity that lends structure to its effective defense of many of the main systematic aims of Kant’s critical ethics (albeit without treatment of its setting in Kant’s theoretical metaphysics). There is an obvious holistic orientation and a broadening of scope here, as Herman has followed Kant’s own trajectory with the realization that our moral life goes beyond individual…

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