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Ordinary Vices

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  28 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
The seven deadly sins of Christianity represent the abysses of character, whereas Shklar's "ordinary vices"--cruelty, hypocrisy, snobbery, betrayal, and misanthropy--are merely treacherous shoals, flawing our characters with mean-spiritedness and inhumanity.

Shklar draws from a brilliant array of writers--Moliere and Dickens on hypocrisy, Jane Austen on snobbery, Shakespear
Paperback, 278 pages
Published July 1st 1985 by Belknap Press (first published July 1st 1984)
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Aug 15, 2012 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: ethics
Interesting, but often wayward, discussion of a peculiar set of human vices. A few worthwhile thoughts scattered, but no real sustained attempt at persuasion that these vices (cruelty, hypocrisy, snobbery, betrayal, misanthropy) ought to be avoided above all others. The obvious arguments for the primacy of a more traditional set of virtues/vices go largely unaddressed, as do arguments for the value of the supposed "ordinary vices" when indulged in moderation. Are there really no evils inherent i ...more
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Bill Bowyer
Dec 01, 2015 Bill Bowyer rated it really liked it
Hypocritical and limited in scope; the vices that she describes need expansion.

Nevertheless, Shklar was--and remains--one of the best theoretical writers in all of political philosophy, and this book was an eye-opening read during my junior year.

Mar 19, 2013 Alex rated it it was amazing
Her masterpiece, and a must-read for anyone concerned with either American political philosophy or the history of ideas. Even though I think it's kind of a dumb title.
Soha Bayoumi
Jul 31, 2011 Soha Bayoumi rated it really liked it
Shklar's "liberalism of fear" is a particularly interesting concept...
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