Loyalty and virtues

Philosophical Quarterly 42 (169):403-419 (1992)
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When loyalty is discussed, a very rare thing in recent years, it is sometimes listed as one of the virtues and just as often derided. Its relationship to the virtues, or to the other virtues, is difficult to discern, and that is at least partly because the role that judgement plays in loyalty seems odd. The argument of this paper is that there is a core value to loyalty, and that understanding this core value is of critical importance in understanding the virtues despite the fact that loyalty is not itself one of them. I shall suggest at the end of the paper that it is the raw material of the virtues and of at least some vices.


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