The essays in this collection examine the moral import of emotion, motivation, judgment, perception, and group identifications, and explore how all these psychic capacities contribute to a morally good life. They examine moral exemplars and the "moral saints" debate, the morality of rescue during the Holocaust, role morality as lying between "personal" and "impersonal" perspectives, Carol Gilligan's theory of women and morality, Iris Murdoch's moral philosophy, and moral responsiveness in young children.
_Friendship, Altruism, and Morality_, originally published in 1980, gives an account of "altruistic emotions" and friendship that brings out their moral value. Blum argues that moral theories centered on rationality, universal principle, obligation, and impersonality cannot capture this moral importance. This was one of the first books in contemporary moral philosophy to emphasize the moral significance of emotions, to deal with friendship as a moral phenomenon, and to challenge the rationalism of standard interpretations of Kant, although Blum’s "sentimentalism" owes more (...) to Schopenhauer than to Hume. It was a forerunner to care ethics, and feminist ethics more generally; to virtue ethics; and to subsequent influential interpretations of Kant that attempted to room for altruistic emotion and friendship, and other forms of particularism and partialism. In addition, the work has been widely influential in religious studies, political theory, bioethics, and feminist ethics. (shrink)
In The Sovereignty of Good Iris Murdoch suggests that the central task of the moral agent involves a true and loving perception of an- other individual, who is seen as a particular reality external to the agent. Writing in the 1960s she claimed that this dimension of morality had been "theorized away" in contemporary ethics. I will argue today that 20 years later, this charge still holds true of much contemporary ethical theory.
Simone Weil — philosopher, trade union militant, factory worker — developed a penetrating critique of Marxism and a powerful political philosophy which serves an alternative both to liberalism and to Marxism. In A Truer Liberty , originally published in 1989, Blum and Seidler show how Simone Weil’s philosophy sought to place political action on a firmly moral basis. The dignity of the manual worker became the standard for political institutions and movements. Weil criticized Marxism for its confidence in progress and (...) revolution and its attendant illusory belief that history is on the side of the proletariat. Blum and Seidler relate Weil’s work to influential trends in political philosophy today, from analytic Marxism to central traditions within liberal thought. The authors stress the importance of Weil’s work for understanding liberation theology, Catholic radicalism, and, more generally, social movements against oppression which are closely tied to religion and spirituality. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Personal and Impersonal within “Personal Relationships” Personal Relationships and Morality Ideal Friendship and Morally Good Character Can Immoral People be Friends? Can a Friendless Person Lead a Satisfying and Moral Life? Friendship and the Demands of Impartiality Kierkegaard: Universal Love and Unconditional Love Challenging the Legitimacy of Personal Relationships The Real Moral Conflict between Impartiality and Personal Relationships Misunderstanding the Preferences in Personal Relationships Feminism and Personal Relationships Care Ethics and Personal Relationships The Limits of (...) Care Ethics Personal Relationships and Culture. (shrink)