The Moral Sense, By James Q. Wilson Essays

The Moral Sense, By James Q. Wilson Essays

Length: 774 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


In his book, the “Moral Sense,” James Q. Wilson defines the Moral Sense as a sense of being connected to others. Wilson explains how people from different cultures and societies all have a similar set of basic principles, which they follow. The author brings up the example of fairness in his 3rd chapter. Within the chapter, Wilson explains how everyone, has their own perception of fairness from a very young age even though we come from different cultures and societies. He justifies his idea by bringing to light the simple, basic, but also very natural statement all children make when they are young “That’s not fair.” This is seen throughout all cultures because everyone has a basic idea of what fairness is within them. To Wilson, we have this sense of fairness because we are all humans who are based on evolution and culture, and as a result we all have these commonalities. However even though everyone has a basic consensus of fairness, there is no single universally accepted definition for fairness. This is because everyone has a different definition for fairness and as a result these definitions may clash and conflict. To Wilson, fairness is the perfect example of the Moral Sense – having a sense of being connected to each other because we all have senses like fairness, and other senses like sympathy.

In comparison with other philosophers such as Aristotle and Machiavelli, who are respectively considered ancient and modern, Wilson can be placed in the middle between the two. In Wilson’s view, as a moral society, we should retain our individuality, but also be a self-conscious as a community. In other words Wilson wanted humans to better themselves as individuals in order to better the community. He wants people to understand ...


... middle of paper ...


...iversal aspiration. The concept explains the idea that once humans can accept themselves as individuals they can accept others as individuals. For example in terms of slavery, as soon as people could accept former slaves as individuals, they achieved the idea of universal aspiration. This concept only exists in the modern world as before people wouldn’t accept people of lower classes and slaves as equals. Today we accept all others as equals because over time, and especially after the enlightenment we as a society moved away from being dependent on our community to being independent beings. Wilson’s idea of universal aspiration is a global idea that Aristotle failed to achieve because he was concentrating on his polis as apposed to the world, and Machiavelli failed too achieve because he was too concentrated on a successful leader rather than other individuals.




Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

An Argument Of Moral Character And Punitive Measures On The Nature Of Crime

- When there are perceived problems within society, the solutions that individuals or groups produce are not within a vacuum. Biases or ideologies will factor in as much if not greater than facts and statistics in formulating policy proposals. As such, different scholars of varying beliefs will cite opposing factors that will color the policy responses that they advocate for. For James Q. Wilson, he articulates that certain individuals lack certain characteristics that prevent them from committing crime....   [tags: Crime, Criminal justice, Criminology, Police]

Better Essays
1291 words (3.7 pages)

Analysis Of August Wilson 's Fences Essay

- Family; a family is any group of individuals living together under a common roof. August Wilson’s “Fences” portrays extremely well the significance of family and what key elements go into each and every family. However, occasionally some members do not have similar values as others when it comes to the responsibility expected by others as a member. The use of metaphors and symbols throughout the play such as baseball and fences illustrate exactly why Troy Maxson’s family life was destined for failure....   [tags: Game, Play, James Earl Jones, August Wilson]

Better Essays
836 words (2.4 pages)

Moral Philosophy as Applied Science by Ruse and Wilson Essay

- Moral Philosophy as Applied Science by Ruse and Wilson Ruse and Wilson in "Moral Philosophy as Applied Science" give the example of brother-sister incest avoidance as being an ethical code motivated by an epigenetic rule that confers an adaptive advantage on those who avoid intercourse with their siblings....   [tags: Moral Philosophy Genetics]

Free Essays
1900 words (5.4 pages)

Essay about The Contributions Of Thomas Woodrow Wilson

- Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born on December 20, 1856 at Staunton, Virginia. He was the third of four children of, Joseph Ruggles Wilson, a Presbyterian minister, and Janet “Jessie” Woodrow Wilson. When Wilson was two years old, his family moved to Ohio, where his father became the chief executive of the Southern Presbyterian Church. Religion played a huge role in Wilson’s life, were not only his father was a Presbyterian minister, but his grandfather, James Wilson, was also a Presbyterian minister who became an Ohio legislator and journalist....   [tags: Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States]

Better Essays
1241 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on The Triumph Of Improvisation By James Wilson

- James Wilson’s book The Triumph of Improvisation evaluates the Cold War and the leaders who were in power at that time. Wilson examines the political leaders and their slow willingness to work toward a common goal to overcome the Cold War, would be attributed to the leniency yet narrow mind-set of President Reagan and Gorbachev. Wilson’s thesis that there was more than a set plan that helped Reagan with his campaign to end the Cold War but rather, it was his adaptability and willing to engage circumstances which would arise in a moments notice....   [tags: Cold War, World War II, Soviet Union]

Better Essays
1191 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Moral Relativism And Moral Objectivism

- Which is which. In the attempt to explain morality, two prominent theories exist- moral relativism and moral objectivism. Morality in a sense is difficult to explain, both theories attempt to shed a bit of light in way to break down its complexity. Moral Relativism argues in the view that morality exists only due to the fact that it is relative, or in respect to, cultural or individual beliefs. In a sense, it is up to the people to determine what is right and wrong. On the other hand, moral objectivism views that morality is not parallel, or relative, to one 's beliefs....   [tags: Morality, Human, Ethics, Moral relativism]

Better Essays
1394 words (4 pages)

Essay on Is War A Moral Sense?

- The topic of war has sparked up a lot of debate over the years. War arises when two or more views heavily oppose each other, and as a result, engage in violence. After the bloodshed, war is ended by either agreement or surrender. However, some situations may cause war to recur, as another motive for war may arise, such as revenge. Since 3600 BC, there have been more than 14,500 major wars recorded with more than 4 billion casualties (The facts on War and Peace, 1999). Many argue that war is needed simply because it is effective, while others may oppose stating many immoral decisions have resulted from war....   [tags: Morality, Human, Religion, Ethics]

Better Essays
1316 words (3.8 pages)

Perception And Reality By Keith Wilson Essay

- What is sense perception. Everything we perceive in our senses can be misleading and an illusion. In the article “Perception and Reality” by Keith Wilson (see Article 1), the author goes over some of the aspects of how our perception deceives us to believe in things that aren’t there to begin with. For example are colors real. Well that is relevantly dependent on what is considered real, because real again is a perception of a single individual collecting information and making “sense” out of it....   [tags: Perception, Sense, Illusion, Understanding]

Better Essays
907 words (2.6 pages)

The Cohabitation Of Marriage By James Q. Wilson Essay

- In “Cohabitation instead of Marriage” by James Q. Wilson, he believes that marriage is a necessity in today’s day of life, but you do not get this conclusion till completing the article. He states that marriage is built to maintain a family but we trust teachers to teach our children, daycare to care for them, and police officers to keep them safe and that, that does not leave left for the mother or the father to fo. He then proceeds to say that if the couple does not want children then there is nothing for the marriage to offer and to why not just live together, without the actual title of marred....   [tags: Marriage, Alimony, Cohabitation]

Better Essays
1039 words (3 pages)

Isolation and Alienation of Troy in Wilson's Fences Essay

-      August Wilson's Fences is a play about life, and an extended metaphor Wilson uses to show the disintegrating relationships between Troy and Cory and Troy and Rose. Troy Maxson represents the dreams of black America in a predominantly white world, a world where these dreams were not possible because of the racism and attitudes that prevailed. Troy Maxson is representative of many blacks and their "attitudes and behavior...within the social flux of the late fifties, in their individual and collective struggles to hew a niche for themselves in the rocky social terrain of postwar America" (Pereria, 37)....   [tags: August Wilson, Essays]

Better Essays
1921 words (5.5 pages)