Philosophical Topics 41 (2):59-78 (2013)

Authors
Alison Reiheld
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Abstract
In a morally diverse society, moral agents inevitably run up against intractable disagreements. Civility functions as a valuable constraint on the sort of behaviors which moral agents might deploy in defense of their deeply held moral convictions and generally requires tolerance of other views and political liberalism, as does pluralism. However, most visions of civility are exceptionless: they require civil behavior regardless of how strong the disagreement is between two members of the same society. This seems an excellent idea when those required to do the tolerating might otherwise smash us. However, the demands of civility are universal and fall upon everyone, including ourselves. They may seem to require us to tolerate the intolerable, leading us not into pluralism but rather into functional relativism, and also require the powerless to moderate their demands for redress. They also place moral agents in a very difficult position with respect to realizing our deeply held moral values. Isaiah Berlin’s pluralism, by contrast, allows us to violate tolerance when we come up against values which, put into practice, are incompatible with a form of life we can tolerate. Despite the many fronts on which civility and pluralism align, they are also pitted against each other. Only a qualified (not exceptionless) civility based in respect for persons can cohere with pluralism and thus resolve the double bind in which the moral agent seemed to be placed by exceptionless civility. I develop a rule for Accepted Exceptions that helps to explain how moral agents can be civil, value pluralism, demand redress, and maintain their own deeply held moral commitments.
Keywords Civility  Pluralism  Silencing  Moral commitments
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0276-2080
DOI 10.5840/philtopics201341215
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Feminist Perspectives on Argumentation.Catherine E. Hundleby - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Rude Inquiry: Should Philosophy Be More Polite?Alice MacLachlan - 2021 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 31 (2):175-198.
Rightly or for Ill: The Ethics of Individual Memory.Alison Reiheld - 2019 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 28 (4):377-410.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Value Pluralism and Liberal Politics.Robert B. Talisse - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (1):87-100.
Civility as Political Constraint.William A. Edmundson - 2002 - Res Publica 8 (3):217-229.
Minimal, Moderate, and Extreme Moral Pluralism.Peter S. Wenz - 1993 - Environmental Ethics 15 (1):61-74.
Pluralism, Tolerance and Moral Education.R. J. Royce - 1982 - Journal of Moral Education 11 (3):173-180.
Value Pluralism and Valuable Pluralism.Joaquín Jareño Alarcón - 2006 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 9:91-95.
Civility and Liberal Pluralism.Ian Barnard - 2005 - Symploke 13 (1):134-143.
Political Disagreement, Legitimacy, and Civility.David Archard - 2001 - Philosophical Explorations 4 (3):207 – 222.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-10-12

Total views
610 ( #14,054 of 2,533,681 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
33 ( #26,993 of 2,533,681 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes