David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy in the Contemporary World 18 (1):19-30 (2011)
This essay is concerned with the means by which individuals, especially in the context of group based harm, reconcile the gross inconsistency inherent in upholding moral standards within one's own group while at the same time rationalizing why such moral standards do not apply to certain others. The term moral taint is employed to describe the undesirable condition of one's character that can result from certain group affiliations or memberships. On this view, the vehicle by which one's character becomes tainted is the intemalization of certain narratives that serve to truncate the moral community and are used in attempts to justify group-based harm. I argue that individuals in some such circumstances need to re-describe both the story of their group and their own personal narrative to begin to take responsibility for group based devaluing practices
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