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[Xmca-l] Re: Appeal for help
- To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Appeal for help
- From: Andy Blunden <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2016 20:15:10 +1000
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I understand what Elinami and you, Carol, are saying. My
unwillingness to acknowledge this idea without qualification
is that the idea that "honour" is such a factor in the
self-consciousness of people not from liberal-individualist
capitalist societies is associated with the denigration of
other cultures. Suicide and depression (when not leading to
actual suicide) are at almost epidemic levels in these
liberal-individualist societies. Why? Well, that's too big a
question, probably, but the feeling of aloneness, the
feelings of uselessness, powerlessness, isolation and the
meaninglessness of life for many in the "west," is really
not a lot different from "loss of honour". But generally
throwing acid on your wife or killing your son-in-law are,
not, thank heavens, seen as ways of restoring meaning and
coherence in life in our countries.
Families, yes, the family is the most important project in
the lives of probably most people. And no, it will be a week
before Australians know what government we shall have. Last
time it took 17 days. Was such a pleasure watching the
Conservatives discovering that not everyone loved them.
Rob, yes, you are talking about my topic here. But instead
of saying: "the project has very definitely shaped the
virtues its proponents hold," I say the individuals express
the virtues (or lack thereof) of the project. And in virtue
ethics, a natural virtue which allows people to do bad
things, which they would not do if they could exercise moral
wisdom to control their actions, are imperfect, they are not
really virtues. "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread"
On 5/07/2016 7:25 PM, Carol Macdonald wrote:
Elinami and Andy
Perhaps, as a fellow African, I can tell Andy that this is
definitely stronger in African than in Western societies.
But I am going to go a step further. In totally Islamic
societies (not for example UK or USA) there is even a
higher, or perhaps I should say more virulent sense of
honour, so families might commit honour killings, if they
perceive the honour of the family to be sullied. As a
woman I feel very strongly against the killing or burning
or acid attacks on young women who want to choose their
I know we all feel a little sensitive about islamic issues
right now, so perhaps we can move on to blood feuds in
traditional societies (for example in Polynesia).
Any what is the status of the family as a project? It
certainly takes its character from the larger culture of
which it is part, but may be either fluid or completely
rigid. Is it constructed anew with every wedding or
PS I think the Aus elections might be a case of two many
"virtues" chasing the same electorate. I expect we will
know the outcome today.
On 5 July 2016 at 08:14, Andy Blunden <email@example.com
I think this is true of *all* cultures, Elinami.
On 5/07/2016 4:08 PM, Elinami Swai wrote:
Dear Andy. Coming from gender studies, the
concepts of 'family honor,'
and/or 'culture of honor' come to mind where a
depends largely on family and culture.
On 05/07/2016, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org
Comrade and friends, I need some help.
I am setting about developing a new approach
ethics. Virtues are everywhere taken to be
attributes of a person's character; my aim is
to make the
starting point instead from virtues defined as
attributes of a project, which you can take to
context" or "system of activity" if you wish.
I don't need
advice about issues and problems of ethics,
but it is in in
the nature of virtue ethics that it always has
implications for psychology as well as social
theory, to the
extent that I think I can make a great deal of
calling on psychological data.
Can people point me to research(ers) about how
character changes with social context (e.g.
evidence of the well-known phenomenon in which
promoted above the ability suffers a moral
suitable and reliable data about the differing
(not just preferences or cognition, but
virtues) of people
from one culture or another? or similar
changes in a person's character following
to another country?
URLs appreciated, or whole books, I don't have
access to a
university library or JSTOR.
Carol A Macdonald Ph.D (Edin)
Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa
alternative email address: email@example.com