Add to cart Add to wishlist Other available formats: Hardback , eBook Looking for an inspection copy? This title is not currently available on inspection. A detailed, unified, and accessible study of the emotions and human ties that are at the root of our sense or morality and responsibility Concrete examples drawn from individual and current political contexts Extensive base of references from varied sources and disciplines such as philosophy, law, political theory, psychology and social science.
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Reviews must contain at least 12 words about the product. Table of Contents Acknowledgments 1. Moral Perception and Particularity. Thomas Aquinas on Moral Wrongdoing. The Myth of Morality.
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Moral Repair examines the ethics and moral psychology of responses to wrongdoing. Explaining the emotional bonds and normative expectations that keep human beings responsive to moral standards and responsible to each other, Margaret Urban Walker uses realistic examples of both personal betrayal and political violence to analyze how moral bonds are damaged by serious wrongs and what must be done to repair the damage.
Focusing on victims of wrong, their right to validation, and their sense of justice, Walker presents a unified and detailed philosophical account of hope, trust, resentment, forgiveness, and making amends - the emotions and practices that sustain moral relations. Moral Repair joins a multidisciplinary literature concerned with transitional and restorative justice, reparations, and restoring individual dignity and mutual trust in the wake of serious wrongs. It violates social norms.
Thus, the community in which it occurs can be both partially responsible for letting the violation take place and partially victimized insofar as its norms are being threatened. This theme first gets sounded in the introductory chapter when she claims, "Wrongdoers and victims -- whether individuals or groups -- are a natural focus for moral repair. It is less obvious but essential to see that moral repair is always at the same time a communal responsibility.
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This theme recurs throughout the book. For instance, part of Walker's discussion of trust is the notion of default trust: In her discussion of resentment she claims that resentment invites a response, a reassurance of norms. This invitation is certainly addressed to the wrongdoer, but it is partly to one's normative community.
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It is a call for that community to enforce the norms on which its members rely. Another example comes in her discussion of restorative justice.
In discussing South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, she points out how the mere ability to tell one's story and have it accepted as part of the public record has a restorative effect. While Walker talks often about restoring relationships and reaffirming norms, she does not explicitly discuss one aspect of the situation which, it might be argued, is most in need of repair: She does present herself as wanting to focus on the victim, p.
When we think about criminal wrongdoing and the atrocities that call out for moral repair in the political realm, it may be that hoping for much improvement in the character of wrongdoers is misplaced hope. Even so, it is important to think about moral improvement in the context of moral repair.
First of all, though I agree that we should focus on the victim, some of what the victim would benefit from are things from the wrongdoer: Walker does acknowledge that although she will focus on victims, "wrongdoers will also be central. Secondly, though our attention is captured when wrongdoing is egregious, and though we may have less reason to hope that the wrongdoers in these cases will improve morally, less severe, but more common, wrongdoing also occurs in all our lives.
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Though not as devastating as extreme wrongdoing, this more common form still damages relationships, saps hope, and whittles away at trust. With this form of wrongdoing, we are alternately perpetrators and victims.
Here, we do hold out hope that we can improve. Thus, part of what contributes to restoring relationships and reaffirming norms is our willingness to try to improve ourselves. There are various areas of Walker's discussion where I believe this point is applicable. For instance, one of the six tasks that Walker claims are encompassed in moral repair is the task of acknowledging and addressing wrong.
The acknowledgment of a mistake is of little comfort if the person in error is likely to keep making the mistake.