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Author Schmookler, Andrew Bard.
Title Debating the good society : a quest to bridge America's moral divide / Andrew Bard Schmookler.
Imprint Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, [1999]

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Subject Social values -- United States.
United States -- Moral conditions.
United States -- Social conditions -- 1980-
Description 1 online resource (viii, 378 pages)
Bibliography Note Includes bibliographical references (pages 375-378).
Contents Introduction: The Design from Argument -- The Nintendo Dilemma -- The Good Order Group -- Trust but Verify -- The Noble Savage -- Constructing Some Frames -- A Consultation in the Garden -- Ideas Growing Out of the Soil of Experience -- The Dance of Polarization -- Time for Us to Listen -- Historical Currents -- Signs of Disorder -- Let's Mix It Up -- Spinning a Few Threads -- Checking in on Business -- Back Out from My Court -- Do They Need to Be Pushed, or Will They Jump? -- All of a Piece -- Who Are You to Judge? -- Is Anything Really Good? -- For Whose Good? -- The Power of Ideas -- Interlude: Another Meeting in the Garden -- Overwhelmed by Complexity -- The Challenge of Creation -- The Crooked Timber of Our Humanity -- From the Ground Up: Does the Well-Ordered Soul Develop Naturally? -- Nature Isn't a One-Story Building -- Higher Faculties -- Foundations and Superstructure -- If You Will -- As Water Flows -- Visions of the Kingdom of Reason -- The Greatest Teacher -- A Somber Empiricism -- Reality Check -- Found Wanting: The Question of the Adequacy of the Human Being -- Creatures of Habit -- Rigged Experiments -- Pressed into the Mold -- The Critique of Reason -- Following Tradition -- Interlude: Bitter Lessons -- Word from On High -- Bow Down: Must People, to Be Good, Submit to Authority? -- Gate-crashers -- Law and Order -- Minding Our Betters -- The Anarchist Vision: A World without Coercion -- A Story of a Delayed Splash -- Overarching Order -- Submission to the Will of God.
Summary "Through the ingenious means of a fictional Internet conversation among two dozen or so Americans from various walks of life and every shade of the ideological spectrum, Debating the Good Society probes two questions lying at the heart of the ongoing culture war in contemporary America: Where does goodness come from, and how is good social order to be achieved?"--BOOK JACKET. "Traditionalists and conservatives, who tend to view human nature as inherently sinful, argue that good order must be imposed from above, by parental authority and ruling powers, by the forces of law and tradition, and, ultimately, by God. Counterculturalists and liberals, who tend to believe in the inherent goodness of human nature, claim that well-supported children will develop into well-ordered adults and that adults empowered to make their own choices will form a healthy, well-ordered society."--BOOK JACKET. "By exposing the limitations of both points of view, Andrew Bard Schmookler shows how the culture war presents a challenge to all Americans. This challenge is to integrate the half-truths advanced by both sides into a higher wisdom, one that promises to take the American experiment - to see whether humans can enjoy both the blessings of liberty and the fruits of good order - to the next level of its evolution, toward which it has been straining for the better part of a century."--Jacket.
Note Print version record.
ISBN 0585077940 (electronic bk.)
9780585077949 (electronic bk.)
9780262194143 (hc alk. paper)
0262194147 (hc alk. paper)
OCLC # 42856043
Additional Format Print version: Schmookler, Andrew Bard. Debating the good society. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, ©1999 0262194147 (DLC) 98031588 (OCoLC)39963315
Table of Contents
 Introduction: The Design from Argument1
 1The Nintendo Dilemma3
 2Constructing Some Frames15
 3Spinning a Few Threads37
 Interlude: Another Meeting in the Garden61
IThe Crooked Timber of Our Humanity67
 4From the Ground Up: Does the Well-Ordered Soul Develop Naturally?69
 5Found Wanting: The Question of the Adequacy of the Human Being91
 Interlude: Bitter Lessons111
IIWord from On High121
 6Bow Down: Must People, to Be Good, Submit to Authority?123
 7Built upon Sand: Can a Good Order Be Based on Hierarchy?143
 Interlude: Handling Wild Creatures161
IIIUnder Construction169
 8In What We Trust? Do We Have the Moorings We Need?171
 9A Passion for the Whole: When Bad Things Happen Because of Good People183
 Interlude: A Colonel of Truth209
 10The Idiocy and Theodicy: What Does This Creation Say about the Creator?219
 Interlude: A Hand in the Miracle247
 11Under Construction: An Evolutionary View of Order259
 Interlude: The Creature and the Creation, Revisited295
 12The One Truth and the Many: How Can Good Order Be Built from What We Can Know of Truth?303
 Conclusion: Choices337