Loyalty to Loyalty: Josiah Royce and the Genuine Moral Life

By Mathew A. Foust | Go to book overview

FIVE
LOYALTY AND COMMUNITY

In a recent book-length examination of the relationship between virtue ethics and liberatory struggle, Lisa Tessman discusses several “burdened virtues,” virtues that are costly to those bearing them—particularly, those who are engaged in liberatory struggle. Given the supposedly eudaimonistic nature of virtues—embodying them is thought to be conducive to the well-being of the moral agent1—the notion of virtues engendering burden for those bearing them is problematic. Among these burdened virtues is that of loyalty. According to Tessman, while loyalty is a virtue that is praised in oppositional movements, it is also heavily burdened. Because loyalty forbids actions aimed at undermining the existence of the object of loyalty, or, in Royce’s terms, one’s cause, those engaged in liberatory struggle find themselves caught between the felt need of criticizing and dissenting from their cause—their community—and the felt need of upholding and preserving this cause. While one may maintain loyalty to one’s community while adopting a critical stance, effectively becoming what Tessman terms a “loyal critic,” far from enjoying conciliatory stasis, loyal critics face the prospect of shouldering heavy burdens:

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Loyalty to Loyalty: Josiah Royce and the Genuine Moral Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction - The Treachery and Ambivalence of Loyalty 1
  • One - Loyalty, Justice, Virtue 10
  • Two - The Nature of Loyalty 26
  • Three - Loyalty to Loyalty 51
  • Four - Learning Loyalty 82
  • Five - Loyalty and Community 110
  • Six - Disloyalty 136
  • Seven - Loyalty, Disaster, Business- Contemporary Applications 157
  • Conclusion- The Need for Loyalty 169
  • Notes 173
  • Bibliography 203
  • Index 209
  • American Philosophy 213
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