Habits of the heart

Habits of the heart wikipedia

The paradox at the heart of this book is that while the authors attribute what they view as undesirable current cultural characteristics to an enduring individualism in this country, they are themselves profoundly conservative and traditional in their own views, idealizing the past in ways that seem blatantly erroneous. The ideal is easy to embrace; the practical consequences, hard to foresee. In the liberal world, the state, which was supposed to be a neutral night watchman that would preserve order while individuals pursued their various interests, has become so overgrown and militaristic that it threatens to become a universal policeman. While not resolving this continuing question, as one would not expect them to be able to do, they make clear where their sympathies lie. The key terms that the authors use are established in a four-page glossary, which, among other things, defines the two senses of individualism itself: as a belief in the sacredness of the individual; and as a belief that the individual is real, society only an artificial construct. The town is little more than a bedroom community, in a specific price class, for Boston itself. As anyone with connections to small towns knows, the Volunteer Fire Department and the Volunteer Ambulance Corps have often taken over as the focal points of community action. The authors seem never to have read Hegel. And yet in their field work, the authors kept finding gauzy and unspecific credos behind this action. In the end, what the authors seek is to pit a heightened and activated version of this sense of community against the rising tides of world poverty and a deepening malaise at home.

The ideal is easy to embrace; the practical consequences, hard to foresee. But they clearly are profoundly uncomfortable with the lack of universal criteria for behavior, of innate moral values that are not provisional or individual and thus not apparently arbitrary and relative.

habits of the heart quotes

What are the criteria, and on what are they based? In the end, what the authors seek is to pit a heightened and activated version of this sense of community against the rising tides of world poverty and a deepening malaise at home.

They were habits that would help sustain free institutions, De Tocqueville said.

Habits of the heart ebook

In the end, what the authors seek is to pit a heightened and activated version of this sense of community against the rising tides of world poverty and a deepening malaise at home. And the book could do well. The key terms that the authors use are established in a four-page glossary, which, among other things, defines the two senses of individualism itself: as a belief in the sacredness of the individual; and as a belief that the individual is real, society only an artificial construct. Why so many people have acclaimed this book mystifies me. Core beliefs powerfully determine not only our attitudes but also our actions in ways that we are little aware of and consequently infrequently reflect upon. It is these issues that the authors of this book intend to explore. The town is little more than a bedroom community, in a specific price class, for Boston itself. In this, as in many other areas, the authors insist on caricaturing the trends they seem to see in modern American society, and this weakens their argument. But he also suggested that individualism , a word he was one of the earliest to use and long since a catchword for the American character, could prove dangerous, setting citizens apart from one another, making positive collective action difficult if not impossible, and therefore threatening those same free institutions.

Simply personal preference, perhaps added to the concept of not harming others? It is these issues that the authors of this book intend to explore.

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Inherent in any such book are countless caveats. Why so many people have acclaimed this book mystifies me.

habits of the heart chapter 2 sparknotes

The largest employer is a branch of a large corporation with only nominal ties to the community, and Joe is in fact a PR man for the corporation.

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Eight Habits of the Heart by Clifton L. Taulbert