The limits of loyalty • by Simon Keller

Analysis 69 (2):392-394 (2009)
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Simon Keller's The Limits of Loyalty makes an important and valuable contribution to a neglected area of moral psychology, both in presenting a clear and subtle account of loyalty in its various manifestations, and in challenging some assumptions about the role of loyalty in a morally decent life. Loyalty's domain is that of special relationships, and for some relationship types, Keller argues that these relationships rightly carry some motivational force, as in his analysis of filial duties. In other cases, such as patriotism, ‘there is always something unfortunate about such loyalties’ , for example, that they involve dispositions to ‘fall into bad faith’ or other confusions.Keller begins by examining diverse particular loyalties, then moves to more general questions about loyalty. He considers friendship patriotism , and the obligations of grown children to parents . He argues that loyalty tends to conflict with other values, such as epistemic integrity and draws the conclusion that loyalty as such should not …



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Cynthia Townley
Macquarie University

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