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Ethics and Social Philosophy

Berleant's writings in ethics and social philosophy join the stability of underlying fundamental needs with creative flexibility in recognizing the distinctiveness of moral, social, and aesthetic values and the particularity of individual situations. This leads to anti-foundational pluralism and respect for the demands of unique occasions in realizing values, while honoring the common values that all humans share. No domain of values -- ethical, social, religious, or aesthetic -- is ultimate, self-sufficient, or inviolable. All are continuous with each other and are integrated in the living contexts that constitute the human life-world.


Bibliography in Ethics and Social Philosophy

“Beauty and the Way of Modern Life,” Wuhan University, 2005. Re-printed in Aesthetics beyond the Arts (Ashgate, 2012), pp. 205-212.



"The Idea of a Cultural Aesthetic," Koht ja Paik / Place and Location, ed. Virve Sarapik, Kadri Tüür, and Mari Laanemets (Eesti Kunstiakadeemia, 2002), pp. 19-26. Also in The Great Book of Aesthetics: Proceedings of the Xvth International Congress of Aesthetics (Tokyo, Japan).


"Ideas for a Social Aesthetic," in The Aesthetics of Everyday Life, Andrew Light and Jonathan M. Smith (eds.), (New York: Seven Bridges Press, 2002).


"Musical Embodiment," Journal of Cultural Studies, No. 5, spring 2000.


"On Getting Along Beautifully: Ideas for a Social Aesthetics," in Aesthetics in the Human Environment, ed. Pauline von Bonsdorff and Arto Haapala (Lahti, Finland: International Institute of Applied Aesthetics, 1999), pp. 12-29.


"Mothering and Metaphor," Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 57/1 (Winter 1999), 363-5.


"The Wilderness City: An Essay in Metaphorical Experience," in The City as Cultural Metaphor: Studies in Urban Aesthetics, edited by Arto Haapala (Lahti, Finland: International Institute of Applied Aesthetics, 1998), pp. 16-25.


"Leaving Relativism," in Relativism and Beyond, ed. Y. Ariel, S. Biderman, and O. Rotem (Leiden: Brill, 1998), pp. 67-87.


"Spoeczne wartociowanie sztuki" ("The Social Evaluation of Art," in Polish. In Problematyka wartociowania w Amerykaskiej filozofii i estetyce xx wieku (The Question of Valuation in American Twentieth Century Philosophy and Aesthetics), edited Andrzeja Ceynowy, Bohdana Dziemidoka, Marka Janiaka (Gdansk: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Gdaskiego, 1995), pp. 58-67.


"The Critical Aesthetics of Disney World," Journal of Applied Philosophy, 11/2 (1994), 171-180.


"Aesthetics and Community," Journal of Value Inquiry 28, 257-272 (1994), special issue on aesthetics.


"Human Being and Natural World," in Ethics and the Environment, ed. Richard E. Hart (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1992), pp. 25-28.


Anthology: The Ethical Factor in Business Decisions (Brookville, N.Y.: C. W. Post Center of Long Island University, l982), editor.


"Multinationals, Local Practice, and the Problem of Ethical Consistency," in Ethics and Management, Proceedings of the Fifteenth Conference on Value Inquiry, (Brockport, N.Y. l98l). Reprinted in the Journal of Business Ethics, l (l982), l85-l93 and in The Ethical Factor in Business Decisions.


"Subsidization of Art as Social Policy," Journal of Behavioral Economics, VIII, l (Summer, l979), 23-37. Reprinted in the Journal of Cultural Economics, Dec. l980.

"Artists and Morality: Toward an Ethics of Art," Leonardo, the Journal of the Contemporary Artist, l0 (Summer l977), l95-202.


"Ethics and Science: Some Normative Facts and a Conclusion," Journal of Value Inquiry, XI, (l977), Winter l977, 244-258.


"Death in Image, Word and Idea," Ventures in Research, ed. D. Frank, Long Island University, Fall l973, pp. 66-91. Reprinted in Philosophical Aspects of Thanatology, Vol. l, ed. Hetzler & Kutscher, l977.


"Repressive Tolerance and Pure Toleration," Confrontation, No. 3 (Winter/Spring l970), 70-74.


"The Social Postulate of Theoretical Ethics," Journal of Value Inquiry, IV, l (January l970), l-l6.


"The Experience and Judgment of Values," The Journal of Value Inquiry, I, l (Spring l967), 24-37. Reprinted in Value Theory in Philosophy and Social Science, ed. Laszlo and Wilbur (New York: Gordon & Breach, l973).


Values in Business Management – Criteria for Decision Making, editor and author of Introduction, C. W. Post Center, Long Island University, l979, l6 pp.


Logic and Social Doctrine: Dewey's Methodological Approach to Social Philosophy, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1962. Unpublished dissertation.


Philosophies of Man, an Anthology of Readings, ed. with Neal W. Gilbert and Shia Moser, Department of Philosophy, University of Buffalo, l96l (Multilithed for classroom use).



Reviews and Short Pieces


"Why We Need an Anti-discrimination Ordinance," Guest Column, Castine Patriot, Vol. 20, No. 13, April 1, 1999, p. 4.

“What Morality? Whose Morality?” Unpublished talk, Castine Unitarian Church, January 9, 2005.


"Religion without Theology," 2002. Unpublished talk


"The One and Many Faces of Love," 2001. Unpublished talk.


"Ending and Beginning: A New Year's Resolution," (2001). Unpublished talk.


"Myth and Irresponsibility," 2000. Unpublished ms.


"Affirming Morality," Letter to the Editor, Castine Patriot, May 20, 1999.


"In Praise of Imperfection," 1998. Unpublished talk.


"Sacred Environments," 1995. Unpublished talk.


"Smoking: A Personal Problem or Everybody's Problem?," The Open Forum, I, 2 (April 3, 1991), 35-36.


Review of Morality and Architecture, by David Watkin in Leonardo, l3, (l980), pp. 257-258.


Review of Value and Values in Evolution, ed. E. A Maziarz, in Choice.


Review of Aurel Kolnai, Ethics, Value, and Reality: Selected Papers, in Choice, November l978, 293.


Review of Nishida Kitaro, Art and Morality in Leonardo, 1978.


Review of Social Justice: the Catholic Position, ed. by V. P. Mainelli, Choice, January, l976.


Review of T. J. Lescoe, Existentialism: with or without God, in Choice, February l975.


Review of James Gouinlock, John Dewey's Philosophy of Value, Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly Journal of American Philosophy, Vol. X, No. 3 (Summer l974), l90-4.


Review of Rollo Handy, The Measurement of Values, in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, XXXII, 4 (June l972), 573-574.


Review of Charles Fried, An Anatomy of Values, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, XXXII, 3 (March l972), 4l6-4l7.


Review of N. Rescher, Introduction to Value Theory, Journal of Value Inquiry, V, 3 (Summer l97l), 235-237.


Review of S. Moser's Absolutism and Relativism in Ethics, in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, XXIX, 3 (March l969), 465-7.


"The AAUP and the 'Right to Strike,'" Letter, AAUP Bulletin, (Autumn l967), 345-346.


Review of R. Handy & P. Kurtz, A Current Appraisal of the Behavioral Sciences, and R. Handy, Methodology of the Behavioral Sciences, in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, XXVI, l (September l965).