The Virtue of Harmony

The Virtue of Harmony Summary

Harmony, the bringing together of dissimilar elements in a manner that coordinates these as parts of an organic whole, is central to different aspects of human existence. In many cultures, harmony is considered an important virtue. As a personal, social, or environmental accomplishment, harmony has a place in everyday conversation, political discourse, as well as academic scholarship. In most Western societies, however, it has no such presence. This volume introduces the virtue of harmony as a central aspect of the good life into global ethics discourse, and shapes the trajectory of ethics research in a manner that draws upon the resources of a broad variety of cultural traditions. The volume comprises thirteen essays that examine harmony against different cultural and disciplinary backgrounds. A broad variety of cultural traditions are represented, including the Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist, Judaist, Greek, Christian, Islamic, African, and Native American traditions. The volume's essays also represent different disciplinary approaches, such as philosophy, religious studies, linguistics, psychology, and political theory. Each contribution focuses on some aspect of what harmony as a personal trait, social disposition, or environmental outlook entails and describes how the virtue may be cultivated-either by examining the way in which it has been discussed in specific traditions of ethical, religious, or political thought, or by developing a cross-cultural analysis of the theory and practice of the virtue of harmony.

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