Damned If You Do Dilemmas of Action in Literature and Popular Culture

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-03-18
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
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Problems of individual moral choice have always been closely bound up with the larger normative concerns of political theory. There are several reasons for this continuing connection. First, the value conflicts involved in private moral choice are often reproduced on the public stage: for example, states may find it difficult to balance both justice and mercy in much the same way individuals do. Second, we frequently find conflicts between the values of our individual and public lives, such that the moral choice we must make is between the private good and the public good. Loosely speaking, choices that express these conflicts are what philosophers call moral dilemmas: choices in which, no matter what you do, you will forfeit some important moral good, in which wrongdoing is to some degree inescapable, in which (perhaps literally) you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Author Biography

Margaret S. Hrezo is associate professor of political science at Radford University. John M. Parrish is associate professor of political science at Loyola Marymount University.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Moral Dilemmas and the Narrative Artsp. 1
Dilemmas of Stability and Regime Change
The Deadwood Dilemma: Freedom versus Lawp. 21
Political Assassination in Popular Fiction and Political Thought: Trotsky, Arendt, and Stephen Kingp. 41
Dilemmas of Public Leadership
On Hobbits and Hoplites: Dilemmas of Leadership in Aeschylus' The Suppliants and J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Ringsp. 63
Defining Dilemmas Down: The Case of 24p. 87
Dilemmas of Institutional Evil
Modes of Moral Reasoning in Uncle Tom's Cabinp. 113
The Problem of Slavery in Harry Potterp. 137
Dilemmas of Community and Choice
Responsible Life in Paradisep. 165
Amoral Dilemmas and the Temptation to Tyranny in A Simple Planp. 189
Indexp. 211
About the Contributorsp. 221
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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