, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 419-422
Date: 03 May 2011

Book review of Maxine Sheets-Johnstone’s The Roots of Morality

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access
This is an excerpt from the content

The Roots of Morality is Maxine Sheets-Johnstone’s third book in a trio of Roots… books. The first was the The Roots of Thinking (1990), and the second The Roots of Power: Animate Form and Gendered Bodies (1994). Like her other work, The Roots of Morality makes use of an unusually wide range of sources and philosophical perspectives. The aim of the book is to elucidate ‘an understanding of morality grounded in the nature of human nature’. To achieve this, Sheets-Johnstone seeks to examine the ‘fundamental realities of human nature’ and to articulate a ‘foundationalist morality’—a framework that identifies and explores ‘pan-cultural aspects of human existence’ (p.1).

The book is divided into two parts with the first focused on what is usually considered the ‘dark side of human nature’. Topics in this part include power, death, ‘real male–male competition’ and evil. The book moves in part II to discuss what is usually considered the more ‘positive side’ of human nature; the chapters focus ...