What We Are Reading Today: The Moral Nexus by R. Jay Wallace

Updated 05 February 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: The Moral Nexus by R. Jay Wallace

  • The book offers an interpretative argument for the relational approach

The Moral Nexus develops and defends a new interpretation of morality — namely, as a set of requirements that connect agents normatively to other persons in a nexus of moral relations. According to this relational interpretation, moral demands are directed to other individuals, who have claims that the agent comply with these demands. Interpersonal morality, so conceived, is the domain of what we owe to each other, insofar as we are each persons with equal moral standing.

The book offers an interpretative argument for the relational approach, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. Specifically, it highlights neglected advantages of this way of understanding the moral domain; explores important theoretical and practical presuppositions of relational moral duties; and considers the normative implications of understanding morality in relational terms.

The book features a novel defense of the relational approach to morality, which emphasizes the special significance that moral requirements have, both for agents who are deliberating about what to do.


What We Are Reading Today: All the Lives We Ever Lived by Katharine Smyth

Updated 14 February 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: All the Lives We Ever Lived by Katharine Smyth

All the Lives We Ever Lived is an evocative portrait of the deep bond between the author and her dynamic, difficult father. 

Katharine Smyth’s “exploration of grown-up love, the kind that accounts for who the loved one actually is, not who you want him or her to be, gains power and grace as her story unfolds,” said Radhika Jones in a review published in the The New York Times.

“I suspect her book could itself become solace for people navigating their way through the complexities of grief for their fallen idols. And they will be lucky to have it,” the review added.

Smyth is a graduate of Brown University. She has worked for The Paris Review and taught at Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

A commentary in goodreads.com said the book is “a wise, lyrical memoir about the power of literature to help us read our own lives — and see clearly the people we love most.”