The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 663–667 | Cite as

Mike W. Martin, Memoir Ethics: Good Lives and the Virtues

London, England: Lexington Press. 2016. ISBN 9781498533652, 69$, Hbk
  • Daniel SperlingEmail author
Book review

In this original and stimulating book, Mike Martin, a professor of philosophy at Chapman University, invites us to explore the moral themes conveyed in memoirs and to also reflect a bit about the ethics of memoirists. Referring interchangeably to memoirs and autobiographies, or to “non-fiction narratives written by oneself about oneself” (p. 5), Martin uncovers their unique structure and discussion of values under a more general assumption according to which memoirs seek to tell good stories about good lives.

The book consists of twelve chapters. After some introduction on the general theme of the book in chapter one, chapter two presents six generic features of good lives—all of which will be subject to exploration in various memoirs discussed by the author in the next chapters: moral goodness, authenticity, meaning, happiness, health and self-fulfillment. In chapter three, Martin discusses moral goodness and highlights two dimensions of this concept: moral character and contributions...

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Heath Systems Management, Yezreel Valley Academic College and Faculty of LawUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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