Perspectives in Role Ethics: Virtues, Reasons, and Obligation

1st Edition

Tim Dare, Christine Swanton

Published July 18, 2019
Reference - 224 Pages
ISBN 9781138497993 - CAT# K350718
Series: Routledge Studies in Ethics and Moral Theory

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Although our moral lives would be unrecognisable without them, roles have received little attention from analytic moral philosophers. Roles are central to our lives and to our engagement with one another, and should be analysed in connection with our core notions of ethics such as virtue, reason, and obligation.

This volume aims to redress the neglect of role ethics by confronting the tensions between conceptions of impartial morality and role obligations in the history of analytic philosophy and the Confucian tradition. Different perspectives on the ethical significance of roles can be found by looking to debates within professional and applied ethics, by challenging existing accounts of how roles generate reasons, by questioning the hegemony of ethical reasons, and by exploring the relation between expertise and virtue. The essays tackle several core questions related to these debates:

  • What are roles and what is their normative import?
  • To what extent are roles and the ethics of roles central to ethics as opposed to virtue in general, and obligation in general?
  • Are role obligations characteristically incompatible with ordinary morality in professions such as business, law, and medicine?
  • How does practical reason function in relation to roles?

Perspectives in Role Ethics is an examination of a largely neglected topic in ethics. It will appeal to a broad range of scholars in normative ethics, virtue ethics, non-Western ethics, and applied ethics interested in the importance of roles in our moral life.

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