In this century, the topic of gratitude has received little more than passing attention, yet, in earlier periods of Anglo-American moral philosophy, ingratitude was treated as a serious vice. Terrance McConnell provides the first contemporary philosophical exploration of the phenomenon of gratitude. Arguing that it is both an obligation and a moral sentiment, he discusses ways in which gratitude seems to conflict with other important theses in ethical theory. He offers examples from several contexts, including political and filial obligations and relations between friends and casual acquaintances. McConnell describes conditions that generate debts of gratitude, the requirements of such debts, and the relationship between moral requirements and emotions. He discusses the question of whether gratitude toward someone interferes with the impartiality that is morally required in other situations. He also shows how various moral traditions utilitarianism, Kantianism, and the ethics of virtue can account for some aspects of the morality of gratitude, but not all. Terrance McConnell is Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Specifications of Gratitude
|Publisher||Temple University Press|
|Number Of Pages||288|
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