email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
Anger and Forgiveness"Are You There Alone?"10 Good Questions about Life and DeathA Casebook of Ethical Challenges in NeuropsychologyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to Muslim EthicsA Cooperative SpeciesA Critique of the Moral Defense of VegetarianismA Delicate BalanceA Fragile LifeA Life for a LifeA Life-Centered Approach to BioethicsA Matter of SecurityA Mirror Is for ReflectionA Mirror Is for ReflectionA Natural History of Human MoralityA Philosophical DiseaseA Practical Guide to Clinical Ethics ConsultingA Question of TrustA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Short Stay in SwitzerlandA Tapestry of ValuesA Very Bad WizardA World Without ValuesAction and ResponsibilityAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionActs of ConscienceAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction NeuroethicsAdvance Directives in Mental HealthAfter HarmAftermathAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HealthAgainst MarriageAgainst Moral ResponsibilityAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAging, Biotechnology, and the FutureAlbert Schweitzer's Reverence for LifeAlphavilleAltruismAltruismAmerican EugenicsAmerican PsychosisAn American SicknessAn Anthology of Psychiatric EthicsAn Introduction to EthicsAn Introduction to Evolutionary EthicsAn Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy Ancient Greek and Roman SlaveryAnd a Time to DieAnimal LessonsAnimal RightsAnimals Like UsApplied Ethics in Mental Health CareAre Women Human?Arguments about AbortionAristotle on Practical WisdomAristotle's Ethics and Moral ResponsibilityAssisted Suicide and the Right to DieAutonomyAutonomy and the Challenges to LiberalismAutonomy, Consent and the LawBabies by DesignBackslidingBad PharmaBad SoulsBarriers and BelongingBasic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free WillBeauty JunkiesBefore ForgivingBeing AmoralBeing YourselfBending Over BackwardsBending ScienceBernard WilliamsBetter Humans?Better Than WellBeyond BioethicsBeyond ChoiceBeyond GeneticsBeyond HatredBeyond Humanity?Beyond LossBeyond LossBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond SpeechBeyond the DSM StoryBias in Psychiatric DiagnosisBioethicsBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics at the MoviesBioethics Beyond the HeadlinesBioethics Critically ReconsideredBioethics in a Liberal SocietyBioethics in the ClinicBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical Research and BeyondBiosBioscience EthicsBipolar ChildrenBluebirdBodies out of BoundsBodies, Commodities, and BiotechnologiesBody BazaarBoundBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBraintrustBrandedBreaking the SilenceBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyCapital PunishmentCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsChallenging the Stigma of Mental IllnessCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionChild Well-BeingChildrenChildren's RightsChoosing ChildrenChoosing Not to ChooseClinical Dilemmas in PsychotherapyClinical EthicsCloningClose toYouCoercion as CureCoercive Treatment in PsychiatryCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy Comfortably NumbCommonsense RebellionCommunicative Action and Rational ChoiceCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentComprehending CareConducting Insanity EvaluationsConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConflict of Interest in the ProfessionsConsuming KidsContemporary Debates In Applied EthicsContemporary Debates in Moral TheoryContemporary Debates in Social PhilosophyContentious IssuesContesting PsychiatryCrazy in AmericaCreating CapabilitiesCreatures Like Us?Crime and CulpabilityCrime, Punishment, and Mental IllnessCritical Perspectives in Public HealthCritical PsychiatryCrueltyCultural Assessment in Clinical PsychiatryCurrent Controversies in BioethicsCurrent Controversies in Values and ScienceCutting to the CoreCyborg CitizenDamaged IdentitiesDeaf Identities in the MakingDeath Is That Man Taking NamesDebating ProcreationDebating Same-Sex MarriageDecision Making, Personhood and DementiaDecoding the Ethics CodeDefining DifferenceDefining Right and Wrong in Brain ScienceDefining the Beginning and End of LifeDelusions of GenderDementiaDemocracy in What State?Demons of the Modern WorldDescriptions and PrescriptionsDesert and VirtueDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDestructive Trends in Mental HealthDeveloping the VirtuesDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital HemlockDigital SoulDignityDignityDisability BioethicsDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDiscrimination against the Mentally IllDisordered Personalities and CrimeDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDoes Feminism Discriminate against Men?Does Torture Work?Double Standards in Medical Research in Developing CountriesDown GirlDrugs and JusticeDworkin and His CriticsDying in the Twenty-First CenturyEarly WarningEconomics and Youth ViolenceEmbodied RhetoricsEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotional ReasonEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmpathyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEncountering NatureEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEngendering International HealthEnhancing EvolutionEnhancing Human CapacitiesEnoughEros and the GoodErotic InnocenceErotic MoralityEssays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEthical Choices in Contemporary MedicineEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Dilemmas in PediatricsEthical Issues in Behavioral ResearchEthical Issues in Dementia CareEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in the New GeneticsEthical LifeEthical Reasoning for Mental Health ProfessionalsEthical TheoryEthical WillsEthically Challenged ProfessionsEthicsEthicsEthicsEthics and AnimalsEthics and ScienceEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Discovery of the UnconsciousEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics at the CinemaEthics at the End of LifeEthics Case Book of the American Psychoanalytic AssociationEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics for EveryoneEthics for PsychologistsEthics for the New MillenniumEthics in CyberspaceEthics in Everyday PlacesEthics in Health CareEthics In Health Services ManagementEthics in Mental Health ResearchEthics in PracticeEthics in PsychiatryEthics in PsychologyEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEthics, Culture, and PsychiatryEthics, Sexual Orientation, and Choices about ChildrenEvaluating the Science and Ethics of Research on HumansEvilEvil GenesEvil in Modern ThoughtEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolution, Gender, and RapeEvolutionary Ethics and Contemporary BiologyEvolutionary Psychology and ViolenceEvolved MoralityExperiments in EthicsExploding the Gene MythExploiting ChildhoodFacing Human SufferingFact and ValueFacts and ValuesFaking ItFalse-Memory Creation in Children and AdultsFat ShameFatal FreedomFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist TheoryFinal ExamFirst Do No HarmFirst, Do No HarmFlashpointFlesh WoundsForced to CareForgivenessForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and ReconciliationForgiveness and RetributionForgiveness is Really StrangeFoucault and the Government of DisabilityFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Forensic Mental Health AssessmentFree WillFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will and Reactive AttitudesFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree?Freedom and ValueFreedom vs. InterventionFriendshipFrom Darwin to HitlerFrom Disgust to HumanityFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Silence to VoiceFrom Valuing to ValueFrontiers of JusticeGender in the MirrorGenetic PoliticsGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetics of Original SinGenetics of Original SinGenocide's AftermathGetting RealGluttonyGood WorkGoodness & AdviceGreedGroups in ConflictGrowing Up GirlGut FeminismHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHandbook for Health Care Ethics CommitteesHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of Children's RightsHandbook of PsychopathyHappinessHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHard FeelingsHard LuckHardwired BehaviorHarmful ThoughtsHeal & ForgiveHealing PsychiatryHealth Care Ethics for PsychologistsHeterosyncraciesHistorical and Philosophical Perspectives on Biomedical EthicsHoly WarHookedHookedHow Can I Be Trusted?How Fascism WorksHow Propaganda WorksHow to Do Things with Pornography How to Make Opportunity EqualHow Universities Can Help Create a Wiser WorldHow We HopeHow We Think About DementiaHuman BondingHuman Dignity and Assisted DeathHuman EnhancementHuman GoodnessHuman Identity and BioethicsHuman TrialsHumanism, What's That?Humanitarian ReasonHumanityHumanizing MadnessI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!I Was WrongIdentifying Hyperactive ChildrenIf That Ever Happens to MeImproving Nature?In Defense of FloggingIn Defense of SinIn Love With LifeIn Our Own ImageIn the FamilyIn the Land of the DeafIn the Name of IdentityIn the Wake of 9/11In Two MindsInclusive EthicsInformed Consent in Medical ResearchInnovation in Medical TechnologyInside Assisted LivingInside EthicsIntelligence, Race, and GeneticsIntensive CareInto the Gray ZoneIs Human Nature Obsolete?Is Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Is There a Duty to Die?Is There an Ethicist in the House?Issues in Philosophical CounselingJudging Children As ChildrenJust a DogJust BabiesJust CareJustice for ChildrenJustice for HedgehogsJustice in RobesJustice, Luck, and KnowledgeJustifiable ConductKant on Moral AutonomyKant's Theory of VirtueKids of CharacterKilling McVeighLack of CharacterLack of CharacterLaw and the BrainLearning About School ViolenceLearning from Baby PLeaving YouLectures on the History of Political PhilosophyLegal and Ethical Aspects of HealthcareLegal Aspects of Mental CapacityLegal ConceptionsLegal InsanityLegalizing ProstitutionLet Them Eat ProzacLevelling the Playing FieldLiberal Education in a Knowledge SocietyLiberal EugenicsLife After FaithLife at the BottomLife, Sex, and IdeasListening to the WhispersLiving ProfessionalismLosing Matt ShepardLostLuckyMad in AmericaMad PrideMadhouseMaking Another World PossibleMaking Babies, Making FamiliesMaking Genes, Making WavesMaking Sense of Freedom and ResponsibilityMalignantMasculinity Studies and Feminist TheoryMeaning and Moral OrderMeaning in LifeMeaning in Life and Why It MattersMeans, Ends, and PersonsMeans, Ends, and PersonsMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedical Research for HireMedicalized MasculinitiesMedically Assisted DeathMeditations for the HumanistMelancholia and MoralismMental Health Professionals, Minorities and the PoorMental Illness, Medicine and LawMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMetaethical SubjectivismMill's UtilitarianismMind FieldsMind WarsMind WarsModern Theories of JusticeModernity and TechnologyMoney ShotMonsterMoral Acquaintances and Moral DecisionsMoral BrainsMoral ClarityMoral CultivationMoral Development and RealityMoral Dilemmas in Real LifeMoral DimensionsMoral EntanglementsMoral FailureMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral MindsMoral OriginsMoral Panics, Sex PanicsMoral ParticularismMoral PerceptionMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RealismMoral RelativismMoral RepairMoral Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral Status and Human LifeMoral StealthMoral Theory at the MoviesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMoral, Immoral, AmoralMoralismMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMorals, Rights and Practice in the Human ServicesMorals, Rights and Practice in the Human ServicesMore Than HumanMotive and RightnessMovies and the Moral Adventure of LifeMurder in the InnMy Body PoliticMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Sister's KeeperMy Sister's KeeperMy WayNano-Bio-EthicsNarrative MedicineNarrative ProsthesisNatural Ethical FactsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalized BioethicsNeither Bad nor MadNeoconservatismNeonatal BioethicsNeurobiology and the Development of Human MoralityNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNew Takes in Film-PhilosophyNew Waves in EthicsNew Waves in MetaethicsNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNo Child Left DifferentNo Impact ManNormative EthicsNormativityNothing about us, without us!Oath BetrayedOf War and LawOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn EvilOn Human RightsOn The Stigma Of Mental IllnessOn the TakeOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne ChildOne Nation Under TherapyOne World NowOne World NowOur Bodies, Whose Property?Our Bodies, Whose Property?Our Daily MedsOur Faithfulness to the PastOur Posthuman FutureOut of EdenOut of Its MindOut of the ShadowsOverdosed AmericaOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Studies in Normative EthicsOxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 7Oxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPassionate DeliberationPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perfecting VirtuePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonalities on the PlatePersonhood and Health CarePersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPerspectives On Health And Human RightsPharmaceutical FreedomPharmacracyPharmageddonPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhysician-Assisted DyingPicturing DisabilityPilgrim at Tinker CreekPlaying God?Playing God?Political EmotionsPornlandPowerful MedicinesPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical EthicsPractical Ethics for PsychologistsPractical RulesPragmatic BioethicsPragmatic BioethicsPragmatic NeuroethicsPraise and BlamePreferences and Well-BeingPrimates and PhilosophersPro-Life, Pro-ChoiceProcreation and ParenthoodProfits Before People?Progress in BioethicsProperty in the BodyProzac As a Way of LifeProzac on the CouchPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric EthicsPsychiatry and EmpirePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and Consumer CulturePsychology and LawPsychotropic Drug Prescriber's Survival GuidePublic Health LawPublic Health Law and EthicsPublic PhilosophyPunishing the Mentally IllPunishmentPursuits of WisdomPutting Morality Back Into PoliticsPutting on VirtueQuality of Life and Human DifferenceRaceRadical HopeRadical VirtuesRape Is RapeRe-creating MedicineRe-Engineering Philosophy for Limited BeingsReason's GriefReasonably ViciousReckoning With HomelessnessReconceiving Medical EthicsRecovery from SchizophreniaRedefining RapeRedesigning HumansReducing the Stigma of Mental IllnessReflections on Ethics and ResponsibilityReflections On How We LiveReframing Disease ContextuallyRefusing CareRefuting Peter Singer's Ethical TheoryRelative JusticeRelativism and Human RightsReligion ExplainedReprogeneticsRescuing JeffreyRespecting AnimalsResponsibilityResponsibility and PsychopathyResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility from the MarginsResponsible GeneticsRethinking CommodificationRethinking Informed Consent in BioethicsRethinking Mental Health and DisorderRethinking RapeReturn to ReasonRevolution in PsychologyRightsRights, Democracy, and Fulfillment in the Era of Identity PoliticsRisk and Luck in Medical EthicsRobert NozickRousseau and the Dilemmas of Modernity Rule of Law, Misrule of MenRun, Spot, RunRunning on RitalinSatisficing and MaximizingSchadenfreudeSchizophrenia, Culture, and SubjectivityScience and EthicsScience in the Private InterestScience, Policy, and the Value-Free IdealScience, Seeds and CyborgsScratching the Surface of BioethicsSecular Philosophy and the Religious TemperamentSeeing the LightSelf-ConstitutionSelf-Made MadnessSelf-Trust and Reproductive AutonomySentimental RulesSex Fiends, Perverts, and PedophilesSex OffendersSex, Family, and the Culture WarsSexual DevianceSexual EthicsSexual PredatorsSexualized BrainsShaping Our SelvesShock TherapyShould I Medicate My Child?ShunnedSick to Death and Not Going to Take It AnymoreSickoSide EffectsSidewalk StoriesSister CitizenSkeptical FeminismSocial Dimensions of Moral ResponsibilitySocial Inclusion of People with Mental IllnessSocial JusticeSociological Perspectives on the New GeneticsSome We Love, Some We Hate, Some We EatSovereign VirtueSpeech MattersSpiral of EntrapmentSplit DecisionsSticks and StonesStories MatterSubhumanSubjectivity and Being SomebodySuffering, Death, and IdentitySuicide ProhibitionSurgery JunkiesSurgically Shaping ChildrenTaking Morality SeriouslyTaming the Troublesome ChildTechnology and the Good Life?TestimonyText and Materials on International Human RightsThe Aims of Higher EducationThe Almost MoonThe Altruistic BrainThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Forensic PsychiatryThe Animal ManifestoThe Animals' AgendaThe Art of LivingThe Autonomy of MoralityThe Beloved SelfThe Best Things in LifeThe Big FixThe Bioethics ReaderThe Biology and Psychology of Moral AgencyThe Blackwell Guide to Medical EthicsThe Body SilentThe BondThe Book of LifeThe Burden of SympathyThe Cambridge Companion to Virtue EthicsThe Cambridge Companion to Virtue EthicsThe Cambridge Textbook of BioethicsThe Case against Assisted SuicideThe Case Against PerfectionThe Case Against PunishmentThe Case for PerfectionThe Case of Terri SchiavoThe Challenge of Human RightsThe Character GapThe Code for Global EthicsThe Colonization Of Psychic SpaceThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe Common ThreadThe Connected SelfThe Constitution of AgencyThe Creation of PsychopharmacologyThe Criminal BrainThe Decency WarsThe Difficult-to-Treat Psychiatric PatientThe Disability PendulumThe Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to ConfrontationThe Domain of ReasonsThe Double-Edged HelixThe Duty to ProtectThe Emotional Construction of MoralsThe End of Ethics in a Technological SocietyThe End of Stigma?The Essentials of New York Mental Health LawThe Ethical BrainThe Ethical Dimensions of the Biological and Health SciencesThe Ethics of BioethicsThe Ethics of Choosing ChildrenThe Ethics of Human EnhancementThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of SightseeingThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Ethics of the Family in SenecaThe Ethics of the LieThe Ethics of TransplantsThe Ethics of WarThe Ethics ToolkitThe Evolution of Mental Health LawThe Evolution of MoralityThe FamilyThe Fat Studies ReaderThe Forgiveness ProjectThe Form of Practical KnowledgeThe Fountain of YouthThe Freedom ParadoxThe Future of Assisted Suicide and EuthanasiaThe Future of Human NatureThe Good BookThe Good LifeThe Great BetrayalThe Handbook of Disability StudiesThe Healing VirtuesThe High Price of MaterialismThe History of Human RightsThe HorizonThe Idea of JusticeThe Ideal of NatureThe Illusion of Freedom and EqualityThe Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe Importance of Being UnderstoodThe Insanity OffenseThe Joy of SecularismThe Language PoliceThe Last Normal ChildThe Last UtopiaThe Limits of MedicineThe LobotomistThe Love CureThe Lucifer EffectThe Manual of EpictetusThe Mark of ShameThe Meaning of NiceThe Medicalization of SocietyThe Merck DruggernautThe Mind Has MountainsThe Modern Art of DyingThe Modern SavageThe Moral ArcThe Moral BrainThe Moral Demands of MemoryThe Moral FoolThe Moral MindThe Moral Psychology HandbookThe Moral Punishment Instinct The Moral, Social, and Commercial Imperatives of Genetic Testing and ScreeningThe Most Good You Can DoThe Myth of ChoiceThe Myth of the Moral BrainThe Nature of NormativityThe New Disability HistoryThe New Genetic MedicineThe New Religious IntoleranceThe Offensive InternetThe Origins of FairnessThe Oxford Handbook of Animal EthicsThe Oxford Handbook of Ethics at the End of LifeThe Oxford Handbook of Food EthicsThe Palgrave Handbook of Practical Animal EthicsThe Perfect BabyThe Philosophical ParentThe Philosophy of NeedThe Philosophy of PornographyThe Philosophy of PsychiatryThe Politics Of LustThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Power of Religion in the Public SphereThe Price of PerfectionThe Price of TruthThe Problem of PunishmentThe Prosthetic ImpulseThe Psychology of Good and EvilThe Psychology of Good and EvilThe PsychopathThe Purity MythThe Pursuit of PerfectionThe Relevance of Philosophy to LifeThe Right Road to Radical FreedomThe Right to Be ParentsThe Righteous MindThe Root of All EvilThe Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal MindsThe Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of EmpathyThe Rules of InsanityThe Second SexismThe Second-Person StandpointThe Silent World of Doctor and PatientThe Sleep of ReasonThe Social Psychology of Good and EvilThe Social Psychology of MoralityThe Social Psychology of MoralityThe Speed of DarkThe Stem Cell ControversyThe Stem Cell ControversyThe Story of Cruel and UnusualThe Story WithinThe Stubborn System of Moral ResponsibilityThe Suicide TouristThe Terrible GiftThe Theory of OptionsThe Therapy of DesireThe Trauma of Psychological TortureThe Trauma of Psychological TortureThe Triple HelixThe Trolley Problem MysteriesThe Trouble with DiversityThe Truth About the Drug CompaniesThe Ugly LawsThe Varieties of Religious ExperienceThe Virtue of Defiance and Psychiatric EngagementThe Virtues of FreedomThe Virtues of HappinessThe Virtuous Life in Greek EthicsThe Virtuous PsychiatristThe Voice of Breast Cancer in Medicine and BioethicsThe War Against BoysThe War for Children's MindsThe Whole ChildThe Woman RacketThe Worldwide Practice of TortureTherapy with ChildrenThieves of VirtueThree Generations, No ImbecilesTimes of Triumph, Times of DoubtTolerance Among The VirtuesTolerance and the Ethical LifeTolerationToxic PsychiatryTrauma, Truth and ReconciliationTreatment Kind and FairTrusting on the EdgeTry to RememberUltimate JudgementUnborn in the USA: Inside the War on AbortionUndermining ScienceUnderstanding AbortionUnderstanding CloningUnderstanding EmotionsUnderstanding EvilUnderstanding Kant's EthicsUnderstanding Moral ObligationUnderstanding Physician-Pharmaceutical Industry InteractionsUnderstanding TerrorismUnderstanding the GenomeUnderstanding the Stigma of Mental IllnessUnderstanding Treatment Without ConsentUnhingedUnprincipled VirtueUnsanctifying Human Life: Essays on EthicsUnspeakable Acts, Ordinary PeopleUp in FlamesUpheavals of ThoughtUsers and Abusers of PsychiatryValue-Free Science?Values and Psychiatric DiagnosisValues in ConflictVegetarianismViolence and Mental DisorderVirtue EthicsVirtue, Rules, and JusticeVirtue, Vice, and PersonalityVirtues and Their VicesVoracious Science and Vulnerable AnimalsVulnerability, Autonomy, and Applied EthicsWar Against the WeakWar, Torture and TerrorismWarrior's DishonourWeaknessWelfare and Rational CareWhat are you staring at?What Genes Can't DoWhat Have We DoneWhat Is a Human?What Is Good and WhyWhat Is Good and WhyWhat Is the Good Life?What Price Better Health?What Should I Do?What We Owe to Each OtherWhat Would Aristotle Do?What's Good on TVWhat's Normal?What's Wrong with Children's RightsWhat's Wrong with Homosexuality?What's Wrong With Morality?When Is Discrimination Wrong?Who Holds the Moral High Ground?Who Owns YouWho Qualifies for Rights?Whose America?Whose View of Life?Why Animals MatterWhy Animals MatterWhy Does Inequality Matter?Why I Burned My Book and Other Essays on DisabilityWhy Not Kill Them All?Why Punish? How Much?Why Some Things Should Not Be for SaleWisdom, Intuition and EthicsWithout ConscienceWomen and Borderline Personality DisorderWomen and MadnessWondergenesWould You Kill the Fat Man?Wrestling with Behavioral GeneticsWriting About PatientsYou Must Be DreamingYour Genetic DestinyYour Inner FishYouth Offending and Youth Justice Yuck!
Welcome to the 1950s, when men were men and women were women, and everything was just fine. Then, according to Cherry, various social movements of the 1960s happened, especially women's liberation, and things stating going downhill. This was exacerbated in subsequent decades by new rights movements, like the one fought by the LGBTQ community, and the advent of new philosophical movements, especially secular liberalism, post modernism and social constructionism. According to Cherry, this has brought about a truly dire crisis which has attacked, most prominently, the sanctity of the 'traditional' family defined as a marriage between one man and one woman with the purpose of having and raising children where parents have (unlimited?) dominion over their children and men have a similar dominion over their wives. Unfortunately, Cherry opines, "in many quarters the traditional family has become politically incorrect" (6).
Cherry employs a two-pronged attack to defend his position regarding the traditional family. On the one hand, he attempts to show that "nominalist" views of the family, where a family is viewed as a social construct, are inadequate and, moreover, lead to limits on the traditional family that Christians, for example, find deeply troubling. On the other hand, Cherry attempts to show the traditional family is real in a non-constructivist sense; i.e., it is not simply the product of a particular socio-historical period and set of beliefs.
In Chapter 2 (27-66), Cherry advances his argument that the traditional family is a sociobiological fact because such a grouping has evolutionary advantages in that it passes along greater numbers of the parents' genes to future generations. It is, thus, an adaptive trait, according to Cherry and a number of sociobiologists that he cites. One reason for this is the "altruism" expressed within family structures through the process of "kin selection." In this process, individual members within a biologically related group, like a 'traditional' family, will put themselves as risk, and sometimes even die, to protect members of their family since by doing so, they save their genes in the next generation. Non-related people in non-traditional families, such as step parents, are not as likely to act altruistically toward their non-related 'children'. Indeed, "post traditional" family units, such as ones containing step-parents (either within heterosexual or homosexual pairings) or single parent families make worse parents. For example, Cherry argues, non-biological parents typically are less willing to invest resources in children (59) and stepparents are "greatly overrepresented as child abusers, and even greater in terms of child homicide" (39). "Together," Cherry concludes, "sex differences and reproductive strategies provide a biological ground for traditional sex roles and family paternalistic structures. They offer a sociobiological explanation for the authority structures within families as well as for sex roles within the family. Women prefer to care for children more than men do; women prefer to do housework much more than men do" (55). The traditional family, then, has a 'natural' hierarchical structure with husbands having ultimate control.
Cherry belittles his opposition by suggesting that their complaints are based solely on their dislike of 'traditional' family structures. Thus, their complaints are political only. As he puts it: "The fact that the science does not support a conclusion some feminists prefer neither impugns the science nor otherwise calls it into question" (58). This is unfair in part because lots of feminists in particular and scholars in the arts, humanities and social sciences in general believe that biology has some part to play in the behavior of humans, even if they don't accept the specific, very conservative claims of many sociobiologists. Moreover, on a political level, some sociobiologists (and some evolutionary psychologists) have promoted some truly deplorable positions. This extends from the claims of early evolutionists in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries regarding what they claimed was the inferiority of women to more recent claims about the biological basis of rape (Thornhill and Palmer, A Natural History of Rape, 2000) and to claims about the 'natural' inferiority of some races (e.g., Herrstein and Murray, The Bell Curve, 1994, and Ruston, Race, Evolution and Behavior, 1995).
But there are scientific concerns here as well: many biologists also reject many of the claims made by sociobiology. Thus, Cherry vastly overstates his case that sociobiology, or more particularly, his version of it, is a settled biological/scientific fact. When the originator of sociobiology, Edward O. Wilson, spoke initially of the biological basis of very specific human behaviors, as opposed to the behavior of such species as bees and ants, his words were directed to a general audience, not a specifically scientific one. More importantly, his discussion was preliminary and speculative, and hence very far from definitive, contra Cherry's views. Two main criticisms of this branch of sociobiology made by such eminent biologists as Stephen G. Gould and Richard Lewontin are that sociobiology assumes both strong genetic determinism and strong adaptationism. To make a very complicated story short, these complaints suggest that sociobiologists investigating human behavior ignore the contribution made by culture and learning on behavior and overstate the case that all traits are the product of genetic adaptations. As such, "according to Gould and Lewontin, adaptionists tell purely speculative, untestable 'just so' stories and present them as science fact" (Catherine Driscoll, "Sociobiology", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2017/entries/sociobiology/ ).
Given that the claims made by Chery about the biological, genetic support of traditional families are not as firm as he would like us to believe, we can legitimately question whether there are alternative explanations of human behavior, such as those produced by our culture and by learning various behaviors. Hence, for example, though men have been historically dominant over women within traditional marriages, this isn't necessarily the result of unchangeable biological and genetic factors, but rather the result of the socialization of men and women. As such, they are amenable to change.
In Chapter 3 (67-92), Cherry moves beyond sociobiological considerations of the 'family' to present a philosophical argument that the 'family' is "a central category of experience, being, and knowledge" (67). His experiential argument is phenomenological. That is, he claims, the "family is a part of the fabric of social reality that is phenomenologically immediately given; it is given before any judgment and even before one explicitly categorically thinks its unity" (67). As it stands, this claim isn't especially controversial, but it becomes so when Cherry translates "family" in the above passage to mean "traditional family." As we have seen, however, the sociobiological support for this position is highly contested. Hence, Cherry must look elsewhere for support, which he does by arguing for the necessity of a "God's eye perspective."
While Cherry maintains that the ontological, epistemological, and social priority given to the traditional family does not depend on whether traditional families are in fact superior in raising children than non-traditional families (87), it is clear that Cherry in fact thinks that traditional families do empirically provide a superior environment in which to rear children, and presents lots of statistics to try to substantiate his point. But these claims are also highly debatable. First, he ignores the socio-political injustices that pertain to our world and that these injustices might well contribute to less than ideal child rearing conditions. Second, the data about successful child rearing is incredibly varied. Moreover, there is some data that suggests that children raised by two lesbian mothers fare best (N. Gartrell & H. Bos, "U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study," Pediatrics 2010). We must be wary of making too much of this type of data, however. From one perspective, if we knew fairly specifically what made good parents and good conditions within which to raise children, from a public health perspective we might be justified in licensing parents. Though this is what currently happens with respective to perspective adoptive parents, I suspect that Cherry would be opposed to such intrusive government interference with respect to the reproductive choices made within traditional families.
In Ch. 4 (93-134), Cherry attempts to demonstrate that a "God's Eye Perspective" is a necessary condition for a fully adequate morality, and, concomitantly, the inadequacy of secular ethics. His argument is Kantian, broadly construed. But there are a number of points he makes about Kant's position that are at least misleading. First, Kant's ontology and epistemology is not religious per se. As Kant argues in the Critique of Pure Reason, and the Prolegomena, while we can come to know phenomena under the assumption that space and time are categories of the mind, we cannot know noumena or "things in themselves," whether those be the 'reality' behind the experienced phenomena that we perceive, or of things like God. This was thought to be the solution, in the modern period, of the failure of Descartes' attempt to provide a rationalist account of knowledge on the one hand, and Hume's empirical skepticism on the other. (It's interesting to note here that Descartes' attempt required that he provide an a priori, ontological proof of the existence of God that has been widely discredited.) Now, Kant did maintain, in his ethics, that the possibility of that moral enterprise needed the assumption of a number of things, including, most importantly, human autonomy. He also maintained that a fully grounded ethics involves the postulation of the possibility of God. But, as Cherry himself notes, Kant's argument doesn't prove the existence of God (98). Kant's argument here is far more hypothetical and conditional. That is, if we want to have the type of absolute authority for moral action that he wanted, we must act as if there is a God. Moreover, even if we accepted Kant's argument here, there is no necessity that we accept the 'traditional' Christian view of theism that Cherry espouses.
So, while secular ethics may not provide us with the type of moral certainty Cherry wants, in the absence of good arguments for a theistically based ethics, secular ethics may be the best we can do. Here, we can follow the good advice of Aristotle who said at the beginning of his Nicomachean Ethics that some subjects, like ethics, are not as precise as other subjects like mathematics or the natural sciences and that in ethics "the discussion will be quite sufficient if it attains as much clarity as the subject allows (1094b 11-12). We also have the good advice of Wittgenstein, who said at the end of the Tractatus that of those things about which we cannot speak [like noumena, ends-in-themselves, or God] we ought to pass over in silence.
In Chapters 5 (135-176) and 6 (177-216), Cherry seeks to castigate the "liberal social-constructivist" and "libertarian social-constructivist" views of the family. While Cherry believes that both accounts of the family, like all nominalist accounts, are ultimately inadequate, he finds libertarianism far more acceptable than liberal egalitarianism. This stems from the libertarian acceptance of all consensual arrangements between people. While this means the libertarian will certainly not give preference to traditional, Christian notions of the family, they at least do not disparage such traditional families, as he believes liberal egalitarianism does. Libertarians, then, would allow, e.g., families with unequal power relationships within it so long as such relationships are consensually agreed to. He is also happy with the libertarian position regarding such things as what he sees as the illegitimacy of redistributive taxation and state run universal health care. These, though, are debates well beyond the main scope of this book review.
One of Cherry's main targets against the liberal social-constructivist view of the family is its emphasis on both individual autonomy and the ideal of the equality of persons. Equality is problematic, Cherry claims, because, on the one hand, it denies what Cherry takes to be the sociobiological fact of sex differences (see, e.g., 135). Moreover, he claims, the autonomous choices of women are not taken seriously in the contemporary world when they choose lifestyles inconsistent with 'liberal values' – for example, if a woman chooses "to be submissive to her husband, of a woman to forgo an independent career in favor of dependence on her husband's income so as to engage in raising children, of men and women to convert to traditional patriarchal or hierarchical religions, to educate children in a gender-essentialist manner are seen as potentially heteronomous expressions of a false consciousness" (140). Arguments from the right about being victims of the liberal left are by now old news. The main problem with it, however, is there is little to no evidence to support it. Where, for example, are such victims to be found? Are they restricted by any laws to make choices for a conservative life? Are people in the U.S. prohibited by law to practice Catholicism (at least in the private sphere)? Claims made by Cherry that what he calls the "fundamentalist secular state" (which we apparently live under in the Western world) is essentially the same as a "Mohammedan fundamentalist state" (232-235) are completely implausible to say the least.
Cherry is also concerned with the affirmation by the liberal state of the autonomy of adolescents. Such affirmation, he claims, infringes on parental rights over children and also runs counter to the 'fact' of the not fully developed adolescent brain. Indeed, he claims, liberals are inconsistent on this later point: while the liberal state protects minors from the health risks of smoking, and disallow teens from buying cigarettes, they do not protect adolescents from the dangers of sexual experimentation (161 ff). This is a curious argument in a number of ways. Most importantly, there is no way to make smoking cigarettes safe (or safer), but there are ways to make (consensual) sex safer. However, by pushing abstinence-only-until-marriage sex 'education' in public schools rather than truly comprehensive sex education, conservatives have actually made teen age sex much more dangerous than it otherwise would be. Indeed, American teenagers know less about sex than any other developed nation and have rates of teenage pregnancy and teenagers contracting STIs that are more similar to developing world countries than to Western developed nations where comprehensive sex education is a part of the public-school curriculum (see, e.g., L. Shrage and R.S. Stewart, Philosophizing About Sex, 136, 140-142.)
The last two chapters in the book add nothing essential to Cherry's defense of his position that contemporary secular morality, such as John Rawls' conception of "justice as fairness," are insufficiently grounded because they fail to adopt a God's eye view. Also included in Ch. 7 (273-298) is a discussion, once again, of the evils of promiscuous sex, and the availability of abortion. Given the importance of the subject, one might have expected a long discussion of how we are to square he desires of the Christian right in a modern, heterogeneous state. But his discussion of this issue – in a section called "living honestly with significant moral pluralism" is a scant 3 1/2 pages long. And even there, Cherry mostly describes, once again, the ways in which a secular morality is at odds with a traditional Christian view. He does add, however, that he thinks that were we to adhere to the type of Christian view he advocates, that not only public policy and the education of children would be different, so too would be "the direction of science" (287)!
Hence, we are left at the end of Cherry's book with some fundamental problems – such as a reliance on controversial science and dubious philosophical-theological arguments – and unresolved issues. For example, are there any legitimate limits to the authority of parents over children, or of husbands over wives? These are particularly important questions in the contemporary world where fundamentalist theocratic states have instituted policies where, e.g., girls are not allowed to go to school and where they are subjected to various forms of female genital mutilation and where woman are subjected to such atrocities as being stoned to death for committing (or having been accused of committing) adultery.
Sex, Family, and the Culture Wars will no doubt appeal to and indeed be applauded by the Christian, fundamentalist right, whether Catholic or Protestant. But there are lots of suspect arguments in this book and there is virtually nothing here to address the issues of how we are to live in a heteronomous modern democracy. As such, non-fundamentalists should give it a pass.
© 2017 Robert Scott Stewart
Robert Scott Stewart, Ph.D., is a Professor of Philosophy at Cape Breton University (Canada). His most recent book, Philosophizing About Sex, was co-written with Laurie Shrage and published by Broadview Press in 2015.