Relationship Morality

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9780271014050: Relationship Morality

This book is an inquiry into the extent to which human relationships are foundational in morality. J. Kellenberger seeks to discover, first, how relationships between persons, and ultimately the relationship that each person has to each person by virtue of being a person, underlie the various traditional components of morality--obligation, virtue, justice, rights, and moral goods--and, second, how relationship morality is more fully consonant with our moral experience than other forms of human morality.Kellenberger traces the implications of relationship morality for an understanding of religious duty to God and for the status of our obligations to animals. He also examines issues relating to a feminist "ethics of caring." While this book is a work in ethics, its approach is not limited to an examination of theories of obligation, such as utilitarianism, nor is it limited to the traditional areas covered by wider philosophical treatments of ethics. It embraces these but examines such moral categories as love, respect for persons, shame, and their place in morality.

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About the Author:

J. Kellenberger is Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Northridge. He is the author of, most recently, God-Relationships With and Without God (St. Martin's, 1989) and editor of Inter-Religious Models and Criteria (St. Martin's, 1993).


“This is an interesting and ambitious attempt to understand all defensible morality in terms of what Kellenberger calls relationship morality. As such it provides a thread for hanging together central moral concepts and integrates philosophical and religious ethics in an engaging and readable way.”

—Rita C. Manning, Author of Speaking from the Heart: A Feminist Perspective on Ethics

“This is an important and original book. No one interested in the deep questions of morality can fail to be engaged by it.”

—John Kekes, Author of The Morality of Pluralism

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