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Extended Audio Sample The Moral Sense, by James Q. Wilson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (64 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Q. Wilson Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Virtue has acquired a bad name, says Wilson, but it is nevertheless what we are referring to when we discuss a person’s character, such as whether someone is kind, friendly, or loyal. Although we may disguise the language of morality as a language of personality, it is still, in Wilson’s words, “the language of virtue and vice.”

Says the author, “This book is not an effort to state or justify moral rules; that is, it is not a book of philosophy. Rather, it is an effort to clarify what ordinary people mean when they speak of their moral feelings and to explain, insofar as one can, the origins of those feelings.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “James Q. Wilson has taken an unfashionable but undeniably crucial question about moral nature and produced a bracing, elegant, carefully researched and closely argued controversy. Everyone should read it.”

    Michael Crichton

  • “A lucid, elegant, magisterial and controversial essay.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “With this book James Q. Wilson rescues ‘morality’ from the hype and carping of partisan interests…he provides terms by which people of widely divergent perspectives can address common problems anew. The Moral Sense makes a singular—and for our generation, decisively important—contribution.”

    James Davison Hunter, author of Culture Wars

  • “Utterly intriguing…there’s nothing doctrinaire or simplistic in Wilson’s critique of our current wisdoms…Wilson manages to take sociology out of the realm of theory without reducing it to policy. A refreshing and timely work.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “The masterful synthesis of data from many disciplines makes this an essential title for any academic or public library serving an intellectual clientele.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Thomas | 2/15/2013

    " It is a great book to ponder to what extent morality is socially constructed or an inherent quality in human beings. Wilson challenges much of the moral relativism that continues to permeate social constructivist thought. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Amber | 7/14/2006

    " Meh. Required text fo my course. "

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About the Author

James Q. Wilson is James Collins professor of management and public policy at UCLA. Winner of the 1990, James Madison Award of the American Political Science Association, he is also the author of Moral Judgement.