Relationships and Respect for Persons

Windsor Studies in Argumentation, Vol. 4 (2016)
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Many theorists writing on the aftermath of wrongdoing have been influenced by Trudy Govier’s emphasis on interpersonal relationships. But George Sher has recently challenged this talk of relationships. Read descriptively, he argues, claims about the interpersonal effects of wrongdoing are either exaggerated or false. Read normatively, relationships add nothing to more traditional moral theory. In this essay, I argue that Govier’s relational framework both avoids Sher’s dilemma and enables her to develop the notion of respect for persons in ways that improve upon traditional Kantian discussions.
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