Starkey, Nicholas John (2001)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The thesis considers the rôle of the concept of attention in modern moral philosophy. In Part I of the thesis I argue that the structure of much modern moral philosophy neglects or distorts the issue of the attention the good man offers others as individuals, taking as examples the works of David Gauthier, Charles Fried and Bernard Williams. In Part II I turn to the study of affection and of love for an alternative account of the attention we should offer others, and the place of such an attention within a good life. I first consider two theological studies of the loves of Eros, Agape and Philia; that of M.C.D’Arcy, and that of Aelred of Rieveaulx as amplified by Andrew Sullivan. I then progress to an account of compassion and of friendship seen outside of any theological context. I argue that the attention to others found in certain forms of love gives us an altered sense of the other as an individual, and indeed an altered sense of self. I argue that this changed sense of self and other conditions our wider moral understanding, including our sense of what we owe to others outside of relations of compassion and friendship.
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