The Journal of Ethics 19 (1):53-72 (2015)

Authors
Vanessa Carbonell
University of Cincinnati
Abstract
We emerge from certain activities with an altered sense of self. Whether returning from a warzone or from an experience as common as caring for an aging parent, one might remark, “I’m not the same person I was.” I argue that such transformations are relevant to debates about what morality requires of us. To undergo an alteration in one’s self is to make a special kind of sacrifice, a sacrifice of self. Since projects can be more or less morally obligatory to the extent that they require more or less sacrifice, we must incorporate these unique sacrifices into any accounting of the contours and limits of moral obligation. But sacrifices of self pose a special difficulty for any such accounting, precisely because of their transformative nature. Unlike most other sacrifices, they cannot be analyzed entirely in terms of wellbeing. Using real-world case studies and examples, I argue for the existence of two types of sacrifice of self, involving changes in identity and moral agency. I argue that sacrifices of self require particular attention because they may be extra difficult to compare with other costs and with moral gains.
Keywords Sacrifice  Self-sacrifice  Identity  Demandingness  Moral obligation  Wellbeing
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DOI 10.1007/s10892-014-9186-x
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

When Does ‘Can’ Imply ‘Ought’?Stephanie Collins - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (3):354-375.
The Value of Sacrifices.Jörg Löschke - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (3):399-418.
Sacrifice and Relational Well-Being.Vanessa Carbonell - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (3):335-353.
Sacrificing Value.Lisa Tessman - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (3):376-398.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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