Fleischacker, Samuel 1961-
Fleischacker, Samuel 1961-
PERSONAL: Born April 22, 1961, in London, England; immigrated to United States; son of Herman and Irma Fleischacker; married Amy Klein Reichert, May 13, 1990; children: Noa Daphne, Benjamin Max. Education: Yale University, B.A., 1981; M.A., 1984; Ph.D., 1989. Religion: Jewish.
ADDRESSES: Office—Department of Philosophy, MC 267, 1423 University Hall, 601 South Morgan St., University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607-7114. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Haverford College, Pennsylvania, assistant professor, 1988-90; Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA, 1991; Williams College, Williamstown, MA, associate professor of philosophy, 1991-99; University of Illinois, Chicago, IL, associate professor of philosophy, 1999-2004, professor of philosophy 2004—.
AWARDS, HONORS: Mary Cady Tew Prize, 1983; ACLS Recent Recipient of the Ph.D. fellow, 1990-91; John M. Olin Fellow in History and Political Theory, 1994-95; Laurance S. Rockefeller Fellow, Princeton University, 1994-95; American Philosophical Association fellow, 1995; Gaudino Memorial Scholar, Williams College, 1997—.
Integrity and Moral Relativism, E.J. Brill (New York, NY), 1992.
The Ethics of Culture, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1994.
A Short History of Distributive Justice, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.
On Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations: A Philosophical Companion, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: The works of Samuel Fleischacker typically focus on elements of philosophy, particularly ethics. He is a professor of philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he teaches ethics and political philosophy.
Fleischacker’s books have generally fared well with critics. His first work, Integrity and Moral Relativism, published in 1992, is a defense of a moderate cultural relativism. “While Fleischacker assumes the existence of a truth independent of our ways of approaching it,” summarized David B. Wong in Ethics, “he denies the existence of any absolute conception of the truth that compels the rational assent of all.” Wong lauded Fleischacker’s clear arguments and broad knowledge of non-European tradition, recommending the work to “anyone interested in cross-cultural differences and their bearing on issues of objectivity and relativism in ethics and epistemology.”
In a similar vein, The Ethics of Culture argues that a fixation on universality in ethics has belittled and obscured the value of various cultures guiding ethics. Critics were again positive in their assessment of the work. Kelton Cobb in the Journal of Religion called the work “a careful and elegant moral argument.” J. Gough in Choice was less laudatory but rated it “beyond the already extensive literature on cultural relativism.” Mark G. Kingwell in Ethics found the work “dense,” but nonetheless concluded that it “makes an important and richly detailed contribution” to ethical debate.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice, April 1, 1995, J. Gough, review of The Ethics of Culture, p. 1315; November 1, 1999, C.P. Wali-gorski, review of A Third Concept of Liberty: Judgment and Freedom in Kant and Adam Smith, p. 619.
Ethics, July 1, 1994, David B. Wong, review of Integrity and Moral Relativism, pp. 882-883; January 1, 1996, Mark G. Kingwell, review of The Ethics of Culture, p. 481.
Journal of Religion, July 1, 1997, Kelton Cobb, review of The Ethics of Culture, pp. 496-498.