Dissertation, University of Essex (2018)

Abstract
The continued presence and importance of Christian moral values in our daily lives, coupled with the fact that faith in Christianity is in continual decline, raises the question as to why having lost faith in Christianity, we have also not lost faith in our Christian moral values. This question is also indicative of a more pressing phenomenon: not only have we maintained our faith in Christian values, we fail to see that the widespread collapse of Christianity should affect this faith. To tackle this latter phenomenon, I claim, we have to pose the Nietzschean question of the value of our moral values, so as to see that this value can be a possible object of questioning. In chapter one, I consider different approaches found in the history of moral philosophy that look like potential candidates for this task. I argue that, ultimately, the task requires simultaneously taking our familiarity with Christian moral values as both sui generis and a questionable phenomenon. In chapter two, I articulate in detail the sui generis nature of this familiarity with moral values,in terms of the phenomena of habituation and sedimentation. In chapter three, I consider the possibility of estrangement that is built into our familiarity with moral values, by focusing on the role of cognition. I demonstrate how cognition, in the form of self-consciousness, can disrupt the sedimented, habituated nature of our moral values through a form of ironic disruption. In chapter four, I develop this account by considering the possibility of an appeal to an alternative moral outlook. To do so, I draw upon the structural isomorphism that is present between the process of estrangement and a rite of passage.
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1983 - University of Notre Dame Press.
Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - Oxford University Press.

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