The Enmity Relationship as Justified Negative Partiality

In Monika Betzler & Jörg Löschke (eds.), The Ethics of Relationships: Broadening the Scope. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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Existing discussions of partiality have primarily examined special personal relationships between family, friends, or co-nationals. The negative analogue of such relationships – for example, the relationship of enmity – has, by contrast, been largely neglected. This chapter explores this adverse relation in more detail and considers the special reasons generated by it. We suggest that enmity can involve justified negative partiality, allowing members to give less consideration to each other’s interests. We then consider whether the negative partiality of enmity can be justified through projects or the value inherent in the relationship, following two influential views about the justification of positive partiality. We argue that both accounts of partiality can be conceptually extended to the negative analogue, but doing so brings into focus the problems with such accounts of the grounds of partiality.

Author Profiles

Benjamin Lange
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Joshua Brandt
University of Toronto at Scarborough


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