Partial Values: A Comparative Study in the Limits of Objectivity (Values and Identities: Crossing Philosophical Borders) (Paperback)
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When, if ever, is it permissible to afford special consideration to friends and family? How can we strive to be objective in our thinking, and is this always a feasible or appropriate aim? This book examines the categories of impartiality and objectivity by showing how they frame certain debates in epistemology, moral psychology, and metaethics, arguing that many traditional conceptions of objectivity fail to capture what is important to our identities as knowers, social beings, and moral agents. A new thesis of 'perspectival realism' is offered as a critique of strong objectivity, but in a way that avoids radical subjectivism or relativism. Locally-situated identities can provide their own criteria of epistemic and moral justification, and we may aspire to be impartial in a way that need not sacrifice particular perspectives and relationships. Arguments throughout the book draw heavily on resources from classical Chinese philosophy, and significant attention is given to applications of arguments to concrete issues in applied ethics, cross-cultural anthropology, and political science.
About the Author
Kevin DeLapp is Fleming Professor of Philosophy at Converse College. He is the author of Moral Realism (2013) and editor of Lying and Truthfulness (2016).