The Challenges of Extreme Moral Stress

In Claudia Card (ed.), Criticism and Compassion. Oxford, UK: Wiley. pp. 303–317 (2018-04-18)
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Abstract

The author develops her account of Claudia Card's ethical work as nonideal ethical theory (NET). She clarifies Card's role in ethical theorizing of the recent past, partly in order to brief the unfamiliar reader on Card's ethics and nonideal theory, and partly to enter Card's contributions into the story of nonideal theory's emergence in philosophy. She then recommends, to other NET philosophers, the prioritization of (i) Card's rejection of the "administrative point of view", and (ii) Card's focus on "intolerable harms" as critical to excellent ethical theorizing. She ends with the observation that NET may helpfully point toward reasons to take a pessimistic stance toward moral progress as elaborated in some classic texts in political philosophy; her appreciation of Card's insights yields a variety of pessimism that Card herself did not share.

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Kathryn J. Norlock
Trent University

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