The Courage of One’s Moral Convictions

Exploring the Two Sides of Heroism

Authored by: Ronnie Janoff-Bulman , Prerana Bharadwaj

Handbook of Heroism and Heroic Leadership

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138915633
eBook ISBN: 9781315690100
Adobe ISBN: 9781317426110


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Heroism is often associated with grand physical feats that involve rescuing another in serious trouble: saving a potential drowning victim struggling in deep water or jumping onto subway tracks to pull a person to safety. The decision to intervene appears to be quick and immediate, and the assumption of risk is apparent. Drowning victims flail and tax the strength of the strongest of swimmers, and the possibility of an oncoming train is ever-present for the rescuer who jumps onto train tracks. These rescuers are clearly heroes. The morality of their acts seems obvious, and they take great risks to help an unknown other.

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