Victims' Stories: A Call to Care

Metaphilosophy 49 (1-2):27-39 (2018)
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Abstract

In her book Victims' Stories and the Advancement of Human Rights, Diana Meyers offers a careful analysis of victims' stories as a narrative genre, and she argues that stories in this genre function as a call to care: they both depict a moral void and issue a moral demand, thereby fostering the development of a culture of human rights. This article, while finding Meyers's articulation of this idea compelling, questions Meyers's account of how victims' stories do their moral work. Whereas Meyers argues that victims' stories are complete narratives, characterized by a distinctive form of closure, it suggests that the moral power of victims' stories may lie in part in their open-endedness or lack of closure. In telling their stories, victims engage their audiences in a new moral relationship and implicitly give them a role to play in bringing about the moral closure they seek.

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Andrea Westlund
Florida State University

Citations of this work

Refugees' Stories: Empathy, Agency, and Solidarity.Kerri Woods - 2019 - Journal of Social Philosophy 51 (4):507-525.

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References found in this work

Narrative explanation.J. David Velleman - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (1):1-25.
Narrative closure.Noël Carroll - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 135 (1):1 - 15.
Promises, reasons, and normative powers.Gary Watson - 2009 - In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press.

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