Gratitude, contribution, and ethical theory

In Jonathan Seglow (ed.), The Ethics of Altruism. F. Cass Publishers. 34-48 (2004)
Abstract
I attempt to sketch in general terms an alternative moral perspective that goes beyond the traditional normative theories, a moral perspective called ?contributivism?. This focuses on contribution: caring about one's contribution, I claim, lies at the centre of moral cncern. First I illustrate the need for a contribution-focussed moral theory, primarily by considering gratitude, the typical required response to altruism. Second, I point out some of the motivational resources of such a contribution-based view. I conclude by showing how focusing on contributions can uncover neglected areas of moral significance, which both broaden our recognition of altruistic behavious, and raise questions concerning the moral centrality of altruism
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