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Achtung - ihre sozialen Grundlagen und Formen


Lotter, Maria-Sibylla (2011). Achtung - ihre sozialen Grundlagen und Formen. Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie, 97(3):378-392.

Abstract

Abstract: The moral quality of social coexistence and cooperation depends very much on the terms of mutual respect to which the individuals are entitled. Since this entitlement, by modern philosophy, is considered to derive from our very qualities as human beings, everyone being equally entitled to the same amount of respect, it is widely understood to impose a ban on unequal treatment which we associate with pre-modern cultures. This modern understanding of respect is commonly supposed to be the true moral understanding, in contradistinction to the “merely” social understanding of respect in pre-modern cultures.

The article aims to present a different view. In distinction to the tendency of modern philosophers to constrict their investigation of respect to a rather abstract discussion of the terms of equal respect, I discuss certain concrete demands of respect which are essential for social cooperation both in modern and pre-modern cultures, proceeding from the assumption that the entitlement to respect is grounded on the social need for it. On the one hand, I argue that the forms of respect must differ corresponding to the social conceptions of this need. Thus in societies in which the individual is considered an independent, self-sustaining being, respect demands to exercise restraint, whereas in societies entertaining the ideas of mutual dependence, respect demands mutual care. On the other hand, I claim that respect is due not only to the human being stripped of all her distinctive qualities, but also to the social being with respect to her roles, and to the individual considered in all her uniqueness. In short, the real demands of respect cannot be derived from the abstract idea of equality but presuppose an image of humanity, attention to the individual and an understanding of the functioning of social institutions.

Abstract

Abstract: The moral quality of social coexistence and cooperation depends very much on the terms of mutual respect to which the individuals are entitled. Since this entitlement, by modern philosophy, is considered to derive from our very qualities as human beings, everyone being equally entitled to the same amount of respect, it is widely understood to impose a ban on unequal treatment which we associate with pre-modern cultures. This modern understanding of respect is commonly supposed to be the true moral understanding, in contradistinction to the “merely” social understanding of respect in pre-modern cultures.

The article aims to present a different view. In distinction to the tendency of modern philosophers to constrict their investigation of respect to a rather abstract discussion of the terms of equal respect, I discuss certain concrete demands of respect which are essential for social cooperation both in modern and pre-modern cultures, proceeding from the assumption that the entitlement to respect is grounded on the social need for it. On the one hand, I argue that the forms of respect must differ corresponding to the social conceptions of this need. Thus in societies in which the individual is considered an independent, self-sustaining being, respect demands to exercise restraint, whereas in societies entertaining the ideas of mutual dependence, respect demands mutual care. On the other hand, I claim that respect is due not only to the human being stripped of all her distinctive qualities, but also to the social being with respect to her roles, and to the individual considered in all her uniqueness. In short, the real demands of respect cannot be derived from the abstract idea of equality but presuppose an image of humanity, attention to the individual and an understanding of the functioning of social institutions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:German
Date:2011
Deposited On:09 Dec 2011 14:22
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:05
Publisher:Franz Steiner Verlag
ISSN:0001-2343
Related URLs:http://www.steiner-verlag.de/ARSP/ARSP2011_3_Lotter.html

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