Authors
Mike Martin
University College London
Abstract
At their best, mottos help us cope by crystallizing attitudes, eliciting resolve, and guiding conduct. Mottos have moral significance when they allude to the virtues and reflect the character of individuals and groups. As such, they function in the moral space between abstract ethical theory and contextual moral judgment. I discuss personal mottos such as those of Isak Dinesen (“I will answer”) and group mottos such as found in social movements (“Think globally, act locally”), professions (“Above all, do no harm”), philosophy (“The personal is political”), and therapeutic groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (“One day at a time”)
Keywords Applied Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0739-098X
DOI 10.5840/ijap20112515
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