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Public Morality and Liberal Society

Public Morality and Liberal Society

Essays on Decency, Law, and Pornography

Harry M. Clor

The issue of public morality, so often at the center of heated debates about pornography, narcotics, public indecency, violent entertainment, “family values,” et cetera, is at once a continuing reality and a persistent dilemma in our liberal society. With Public Morality and Liberal Society , Harry M. Clor makes an important contribution to this perennial and intensely debated theme by considering how public morality can be justified in theory and accommodated in practice within a liberal society.

Clor develops his argument in five parts. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the various controversies and ambiguities about public morality in American life and public opinion. In Chapter 2 Clor presents the case for a public standard of morality and defends it against the most persistent objections. Chapter 3 covers some of the themes prominent in recent treatments of the subject of public morality, and Chapter 4 critically analyzes the two theoretically dominant liberal orientations of recent decades, the libertarian and egalitarian views. In Chapter 5 Clor compares the traditional ethical indictment of pornography with the current feminist indictment.

ISBN: 9780268038236
272 pages
Publication Year: 1996

Harry M. Clor is Professor of Political Science at Kenyon College. He is the author of Obscenity and Public Morality: Censorship in a Liberal Society (1969) and many articles and essays in political science.

“[Clor’s] essays are sure to stimulate reflection about the civic importance of moral character.”
-National Catholic Reporter

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Foreword by Clayborne Carson

Public Morality and Liberal Society

Essays on Decency, Law, and Pornography

Harry M. Clor

 Public Morality and Liberal Society: Essays on Decency, Law, and Pornography
Paper Edition

The issue of public morality, so often at the center of heated debates about pornography, narcotics, public indecency, violent entertainment, “family values,” et cetera, is at once a continuing reality and a persistent dilemma in our liberal society. With Public Morality and Liberal Society , Harry M. Clor makes an important contribution to this perennial and intensely debated theme by considering how public morality can be justified in theory and accommodated in practice within a liberal society.

Clor develops his argument in five parts. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the various controversies and ambiguities about public morality in American life and public opinion. In Chapter 2 Clor presents the case for a public standard of morality and defends it against the most persistent objections. Chapter 3 covers some of the themes prominent in recent treatments of the subject of public morality, and Chapter 4 critically analyzes the two theoretically dominant liberal orientations of recent decades, the libertarian and egalitarian views. In Chapter 5 Clor compares the traditional ethical indictment of pornography with the current feminist indictment.

ISBN: 9780268038236

272 pages

“[Clor’s] essays are sure to stimulate reflection about the civic importance of moral character.”
-National Catholic Reporter