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Geographien der Moral


Korf, Benedikt (2006). Geographien der Moral. Geographische Zeitschrift, 94(1):1-14.

Abstract

Taking the global wave of compassion after the Indian Ocean Tsunami as a case in point, this article examines the spatial scope of beneficence. If globalisation theorists are right in proclaiming the end of space in late modernity, how is this reflected in our everyday moral geographies? And how can a system of global ethics be normatively grounded on this basis? Closeness to and distance from people in need have been important parameters in moral philosophy. Feminists and communitarians tend to grant primary normative value to relations with those close to us, since a care ethic can only be grounded in the practice of interaction. An ethic based on feelings of compassion treats people in need in different circumstances differently, because it is based on the semiotic construction of closeness through media images. Practices of care and compassion alone are therefore insufficient for a normative grounding of global ethics. This article analyses the ambivalent spatial semantics involved in these various conceptions and suggests instead, based on concepts developed by Onara O'Neill, a cosmopolitan ethics of duty that escapes these spatial semantic traps.

Abstract

Taking the global wave of compassion after the Indian Ocean Tsunami as a case in point, this article examines the spatial scope of beneficence. If globalisation theorists are right in proclaiming the end of space in late modernity, how is this reflected in our everyday moral geographies? And how can a system of global ethics be normatively grounded on this basis? Closeness to and distance from people in need have been important parameters in moral philosophy. Feminists and communitarians tend to grant primary normative value to relations with those close to us, since a care ethic can only be grounded in the practice of interaction. An ethic based on feelings of compassion treats people in need in different circumstances differently, because it is based on the semiotic construction of closeness through media images. Practices of care and compassion alone are therefore insufficient for a normative grounding of global ethics. This article analyses the ambivalent spatial semantics involved in these various conceptions and suggests instead, based on concepts developed by Onara O'Neill, a cosmopolitan ethics of duty that escapes these spatial semantic traps.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:German
Date:2006
Deposited On:16 Aug 2012 07:07
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:55
Publisher:Franz Steiner Verlag
ISSN:0016-7479
Official URL:http://www.jstor.org/stable/27819065

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