Reason and Emotion in International Ethics

Renee Jeffery

    Research output: Book/ReportBook


    The study of international ethics is marked by an overwhelming bias towards reasoned reflection at the expense of emotionally driven moral deliberation. For rationalist cosmopolitans in particular, reason alone provides the means by which we can arrive at the truly impartial moral judgments a cosmopolitan ethic demands. However, are the emotions as irrational, selfish and partial as most rationalist cosmopolitans would have us believe? By re-examining the central claims of the eighteenth-century moral sentiment theorists in light of cutting-edge discoveries in the fields of neuroscience and psychology, Renée Jeffery argues that the dominance of rationalism and marginalisation of emotions from theories of global ethics cannot be justified. In its place she develops a sentimentalist cosmopolitan ethic that does not simply provide a framework for identifying injustices and prescribing how we ought to respond to them, but which actually motivates action in response to international injustices such as global poverty.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationCambridge UK
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    ISBN (Print)9781107037410
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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