A QUESTION OF VALUES: Six Ways We Make the Personal Choices That Shape Our Lives by Hunter Lewis

A QUESTION OF VALUES: Six Ways We Make the Personal Choices That Shape Our Lives

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The gospel according to Lewis begins accessibly enough by postulating six ""modes of moral reasoning""--having to do with authority, logic, sense experience, emotion, intuition, and science--but this is no pocket ethics: Lewis has a whole syllabus, if not a hidden agenda. By way of ""elucidating"" the value systems, first individually and then in myriad hybrid incarnations, Lewis parades extravagantly erudite anecdotal illustrations, sometimes bafflingly chosen and idiosyncratically proportioned (e.g., a reductive section on Freudian psychology becomes a three-page forum for the schematic defense-theory of one George Vaillant). The book culminates in a sweeping crash course (capsule descriptions and exemplary citations) in moral philosophy (logical naturalism, logical in. tuitionism, logical/emotive Jacohinism, and more); the humanities (semiotics, deconstructionism, and mote); and political science (capitalism, mandarinism, etc., and--characteristically--not just agrarianism but populist agrarianism, technocratic agrarianism, etc.). Throughout, Lewis, a national business consultant and coauthor of The Real World War (1982), a book about global trade, proceeds with what one of his favorites, John Maynard Keynes (quoted on G.E. Moore), calls the ""appearance of. . . undoubting conviction and. . .the accents of infallibility."" One man's tour de force is another man's exhibitionism. Not everyone will have Lewis' cerebral stamina and tolerence for internal debate.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1990
Publisher: Harper & Row