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The order of charity

Oderberg, D. S. ORCID: (2021) The order of charity. Zeitschrift für Ethik und Moralphilosophie, 4. pp. 337-355. ISSN 2522-0071

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s42048-021-00107-6


This paper defends partiality as an inherent, essential part of ethical decision-making. First, the concept of charity as a kind of universal benevolence is spelled out, drawing on key ideas from classical religious thinking. I then argue that any justification of partiality must appeal to the good first, rather than rights. There follows a justification of partiality via an argument from the idea of control over the good. The next section seeks to harmonize partialistic preference with universal charity, explaining the concept of love of neighbour. There follows an outline of the key principles required for setting out an order of charity based on different kinds of special relationship. While not all of this theistically driven approach to the order of charity translates easily into secular moral thought, enough does to suggest that the view defended is at the least worthy of consideration and not to be dismissed lightly. At best, it has much in it that is commendable to secular common sense.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Philosophy
ID Code:101146


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