Between public and private life: Traditional ethics in modern society [Book Review]

Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3):385-399 (2009)
In terms of life space, individuals are usually settled in different spaces according to relationships of blood, geography, and profession. In pre-modern societies, ethics were realized through customs, conventions, taboos, magical practices, and politics. Because this was not an open process in which rationality was sufficiently employed, non-reflectiveness and non-criticality were its essence, and intuitions and feelings were its basic modes of existence. In modern societies, the logic of capital movement settles groups of people according to their economic dependence, and interactions based on individuals’ desires and self-serving calculations have become widespread and frequent. A space for public interaction and life in which rationality is sufficiently employed and rational bases of the rules are constantly questioned thus finally came into being. Families and villages lost their centrality, resulting in a crisis of private interactions and life, and of its system of norms.
Keywords public life  private life  ethical reconstruction  公共生活  私人生活  伦理重建
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DOI 10.1007/s11466-009-0025-2
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