Research Programs: Fellowships for University Teachers

Period of Performance

9/1/2008 - 12/31/2009

Funding Totals

$50,400.00 (approved)
$50,400.00 (awarded)

The Nature of Moral Community

FAIN: FA-53986-08

Henry S. Richardson
Georgetown University (Washington, DC 20057-0001)

I seek support to complete a draft of a book about the nature of moral community, seen not simply as a hypothetical ideal of full symmetry and reciprocity such as Immanuel Kant's "kingdom of ends," but as a concrete, lived community. Thinking more concretely has led some to think, in roughly Hobbesian terms, of the moral community as a construct that gets us to behave in ways that avoid being collectively disastrous; but this conception of the moral community is unacceptably alienating. The book will develop an account of moral community that is less fully symmetrical--more articulated--than Kant's ideal, but more integrative of reflection, and so less alienating, than Hobbesian solutions to collective-action problems. It will do so by developing an appropriate moral psychology, by working with the directed duties and relational rights in terms of which moral relationships get articulated, and, especially, by highlighting the moral powers that authorize people to reshape these rights.