Philosophy professor receives Book of Year Award
By LIZ ZANONI
James Sterba, Notre Dame professor of philosophy, received the 1998 Book of the Year Award from the North American Society for Social Philosophy for his book "Justice for Here and Now."
Sterba's book was recognized at the 16th Annual Social Philosophy Conference in Philadelphia this summer. "Justice for Here and Now," was the first book to have Author Meets Critics sessions at all three American Philosophical Association Meetings this year.
In his book, Sterba argues that a "peacemaking" approach rather than the overused "warmaking" approach to philosophy indicates that the notion of rationality requires morality. The peacemaking approach searches for a common concern that can enable opposing parties to understand their disputes.
Sterba says that libertarian morality can be embraced by welfare liberals, socialists and feminists even though they support equality for different reasons. Feminist, racial, homosexual and multicultural justices are interrelated, and advantages exist when they unite to defend against injustices.
"There is not one form of justice; the arguments are interconnected," he said.
Sterba elaborates by demonstrating that similarities also exist between the anthropocentric and biocentric environmental ethics because both can be morally defended to produce the same conclusions. Sterba said he uses these arguments as a way of "building a complete ethical and moral philosophy." The culmination of Sterba's reasoning is that there exist very few circumstances that reconcile going to war.
A group of 21 essays on "Justice for Here and Now," will be published this fall. Also, a conference focusing on the book will be held on campus this spring. Sterba is structuring the conference to include an interactive discussion between representatives from different groups in today's society who are fighting for equality.
Sterba published 20 books and written over 150 articles in addition to teaching moral and political philosophy at the University since 1973. Two books, "Three Challenges to Ethics: Environmentalism, Feminism and Multicultural-ism," and "Ethics: Classical Western Texts in Feminist and Multicultural Perspectives," will be available soon.
All News Stories for Wednesday, September 15, 1999