PHIL 235
Morality and Partiality: Loyalty, Friendship, Patriotism Fall 2014
Division II Writing Skills
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The aim of this tutorial is to critically examine the nature, importance, and ethical value of personal attachments and loyalties. Loyalty is frequently expected by family, friends and lovers, and demanded by institutions, religious and political communities, as well as by the state. A person incapable of loyalty is often characterized as fickle, cold, self-serving and sometimes even pathological. However, the status of loyalty as a virtue has always been suspect: it has been argued that it is incompatible with impartiality, fairness and equality, and claimed that it is always exclusionary. So, some relationships with other people–such as friendships, familial ties, love, patriotism–seem to be ethically desirable, central to the quality of our lives, and yet prima facie in tension with the widely held belief that morality requires impartiality and equal treatment of all human beings. Are we ever justified in having more concern, and doing more, for our friends, family, community or nation? Does morality require that we always subordinate our personal relationships to universal principles? Is patriotism incompatible with cosmopolitanism, and if so, which of the two should we value? If loyalty is a virtue, what are the proper limits of its cultivation and expression?
The Class: Format: tutorial; tutorial pairs will meet with the instructor for one hour a week
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1624
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: tutorial attendance and participation; bi-weekly tutorial papers, each about 5 pages long (totaling 6 per student); bi-weekly oral responses to the paper of the tutorial partner
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the Gaudino option
Prerequisites: none; open to first year students
Enrollment Preferences: preference to Philosophy majors and then to sophomores
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Attributes: PHIL Contemporary Value Theory Courses

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