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Attending to others: ethics, love and the individual

Starkey, Nicholas John (2001)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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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.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Dent, N. J. H. (Nicholas John Henry)
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Humanities
Department:Department of Philosophy
Subjects:BJ Ethics
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:227
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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