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The Good Life of Teaching First Edition

Chris Higgins 2011 Chris Higgins Published 2011 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd ART The Virtues of Vocation FromMoralProfessionalismtoPracticalEthics COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL brPage 3br Work and Flourishing Williams Critique of Morality and its Implicati

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The Good Life of Teaching First Edition






Presentation on theme: "The Good Life of Teaching First Edition"— Presentation transcript:

Atrstblush,theconceptofjusticewouldseemtoleadusawayfromtheeudaimonisticconceptionofprofessionalethicsweareseekingandrightintotheheartofmoralprofessionalism.Ismyworkjust?Thisquestionseemssimplytoaskhowmyprofessionalconductimpactsmyclientsandothersimpactedbymypractice.However,thereisanotherwayofposingthequestion,andofunderstandingjustice.Forwemightalsoask:Doesmyworkdojusticetomyself?Inthisversionofthequestion,justicebecomesaneducationalconcept,onewhichRobbieMcClintockcallsformativejustice(McClintock,2004,pp.7299)McClintockcontrastsformativejusticewiththemorefamiliar,distributivejusticeasfollows:Issuesofjusticearisewhenaneedordesireforsomethingexceedsitssupply,forcingdeliberationaboutwhateachrecipientisdue.Issuesofdistributivejusticestemfromhavingtoallocateanitesupplyofpublicgoodsamongalargermultiplicityofclaimants.Issuesofformativejusticehavetodo,notwithpublicgoods,butwithhumanpotentials.Ineducation,possibilitiesexceedfeasibleachievement,forcingchoices.Apersoncannotactualizeallherpossibilities;norcanagroup.Whichoneswillreceivewhateffort?Byexercisingformativejustice,apersonselectsamongherpossibilitiesandallocatesanitesupplyoftalentandenergy,ofmotivationanddiscernment,inpursuingthesegoals(p.77).McClintocktracesthisconceptofformativejusticebacktoPlatosbutwarnsthatwewillnotnditthereifwecometothetextwithpresentistnotionsofpolitics,education,andjustice.AsJonathanLearhaspointedout,CicerostranslationofResPublicawasafatefulone,shapingitsreceptionasaworkabouttheidealstate.Incontrast,Learargues,itisaworkabout,aboutwhatitmeanstobewellconstituted,abouthowcomplexunitiessuchasselves,groups,andcitieshangtogetherandfallapart.Readerswhoapproachthealreadyconvincedthatjusticemeansdistributivejusticeandeducationschooling,willbepronetoseetheworkasaworkofpoliticaltheoryabouttheidealstate,structuredaroundaquestionableanalogybetween,withsprinklingsofpsychologicalinsightandeducationalpolicy.ForMcClintock,theeduca-tionalimportofisnotfoundinPlatosspeciccurricularrecommendations.Theentireworkconcernsthesearchforanidealofformativejustice,anidealbywhichanindividualoragroupmightdecidehowtodojusticetoitspossibilitiesandpotentials.Thereisindeedacoherentquestionofjusticeonbothsidesoftheisomorphism.AnsweringSocratesquestionrequiresdecidingwhatpartsofyourselfyouwillcultivateandwhatpartsyouwill,bychoiceornecessity,ignoreorstie.Liketherulerofacity,youmustndawaytodojusticetothevariouspartsofyourself.Guided,wellorpoorly,byformativejustice,McClintockwrites,eachpersonexertseducationalefforttobringinghisorhermixofaptitudestotheirfullemploymentinpursuitofsustainablefulllment(McClintock,2004,p.78).ThewordemploymentTheGoodLifeofTeaching Socratesquestionwithprofessionallife?Whatdoesworkhavetodowithhumanourishing?Ifposingthisquestionwastheworkofthisrstchapter,answeringitisthetaskoftheentirebook.However,Iwouldliketomakeseveralpreliminarypointshere.First,weneedtobewaryoftheproblemthatitispossibletoadoptavirtue-theoreticapproachtoprofessionalethicswithoutsignicantlychallen-gingthenarrownessofmorality.Virtue-ethicscansometimesappearinahighlymoralizingguise.Mentioningthatweareattendingtocharacteralongwithprinciplesandconsequencesisnotenough.Foritisquitepossiblesimplytodressupadiscourseofmoralobligationintalkofprofessionaldispositions,withoutindicatingashifttoagenuinelyaretaicoreudaimonisticWhatIhavetriedtoshowisthatcentraltoagenuinelyaretaicprofessionalethicsisthequestionofhowpracticescontributetothelivesoftheirpractitioners.Whenitcomestotheideaofprofessionallife,weencounterthetrademarkmoraldichotomiesbetweeninclinationandduty,self-interestandaltruism.Codesofconductmostheavilyregulatethespaceswheretheprofessionalsself-interest,understoodasbasicifnotbaseappetites,islikelytoleadtoabrogationofduty.Thus,somewhomightbewillingtogoalongwithWilliamsandTayloronthegeneralethicalpoint,thatself-regardand(notsimplyother-treatment)isaprimenormativeconsi-deration,mightstillmisstheimplicationofthisforprofessionalethics.ThenotionthattheourishingofthepractitionerisofethicalimportisperhapsevenhardertograspgiventhelogicofprofessionalismwehavejustForexample,evenMikeMartinsMeaningfulWork(2000),abookwhichexplicitlypromisestorethinkprofessionalethicsinthespiritofWilliamsinsights,failstoaddressthequestionsofprofessionalethicsasIhavedenedthem.Martinbarelytouchesonthewayvocationsprovidemeaninginthelivesofpractitioners.Focusingonhowpersonalidealshelpprofessionalsdotherightthingandservethegoodoftheirclients,Martinlargelyneglectsthequestionofhowprofessionalidealsmightbevehiclesofthepractitionersownethicalquest.Forthatmatter,evenWilliamshimselfdoesnotseemtohavedrawntheimplicationsofhisowncritiqueofmoralityforprofessionalethics(seee.g.Williams,1995).Thusweconfrontthequestionanew.Whatdoesworkhavetodowithhumanourishing?Ortoputthemattermoreskeptically:evenifWilliamsisrightthatallindividualsmustconfrontSocratesquestion,whythinkthattheyshouldconfrontSocratesquestionarchitects,doctors,orteachers?Thesimplestreplymightrunasfollows:ethics,aswehavecometounderstandit,concernsthetaskofthinkingaboutandshapingoneslifeasawhole;howwespendourtimeisofcentralethicalinterest;worktakesupahighpercentageofourtime;therefore,oneschoiceofworkisacentralmatterofethicalconcern.Butletusconsiderthematterinmoredetail,beginningwiththeideaofjustice.WorkandFlourishing autonomyonthepartofthecommunityofpractitionerstoregulatetheirownstandardsofpractice,and(3)acommitmenttoprovideservicetothepublicwhichgoesbeyondtheeconomicwelfareofthepractitioners(Sullivan,1995,p.2,numberingadded).Abouttherstcriterion,wewillhavemoretosaylater.Thesecondandthirdcriteriatogetherpointthewaytowardprofessionalethicsasithastraditionallybeenconceived.Thesecondcriterionhastwoparts:profes-sionalsaskforautonomyintheconductoftheirpractices,butinreturntheypromisetoregulatetheirownbehavior.Thusprofessionalassociationsadoptcodesofethics,showingthattheyrespecttherightsoftheirclientsandthelawsofthelandinadditiontothegoalsoftheirpractice.Thethirdcriterionrelatestothesegoals,whichthemselveshaveamoralcomponent.AndthisSullivanspellsout,preciselyasWilliamsandTaylorwouldpredict,intermsofsomethingbeyondtheirself-interest,inthiscaserepresentedbytheirpecuniaryinterest.Ifthecodeofconductistheexpressionofthesecondcriterion,theoathofofcemaybetheexpressionofthisthirdcriterion.Hereweneedtodistinguishbetweentheformsofexpressionandwhattheyexpress.Forthecynicwillrightlypointoutthatnocodeofconducthasevermadeanyonebetter.Atmostsuchcodesmaketheamoralandtheimmoralbetteratcoveringtheirtracks.Sowecouldsaythatthoughtheyarecompletelyineffectiveatimprovingconduct,atleasttheydescribegoodconduct.Andyet,suchcodesareusuallytoostreamlined,andindeedreductive,tobeabletomapontotherealcomplexitiesofpractice.Andofcoursehereiswherethephilosophicalstudyofprofessionalethicsstepsintoexplorespecicdilemmasofpracticeinanuancedway.Forexample,shouldateachercontactasocialworkerifastudent,writingajournalunderapromiseofcondentiality,writessomethingthatmaybeareferencetopastabuseheorshehassuffered?Forourpurposes,though,thelessonisthesame.Whetherboileddownintocodesandoaths,orarticulatednelyinphilosophyjournals,thefocusandlimitsofthisactivitywecallprofessionalethicsremainsconstant.Thefocusisonwhatprofessionalsowetheirclientsandwhentheserole-specicobligationsaretrumpedbymorefundamentalmoralnorms.Professionalethicsistypicallyunderstoodastheattempttodelineatetheboundariesofprofessionalconductinlightofmoregeneralnotionsofrightaction.Thereisnodenyingtheinterestandimportanceofsuchquestions.Noonedoubts,forexample,howpressingandcomplexarethedebatesoverdoctor-assistedsuicideorwhetherpublicschoolteachersshouldteachaboutcontraception.Andyet,suchconcernsdoseemtofallsquarelywithinthemodernethicalsystemwehave,followingWilliams,learnedtocallmorality.Whatwehaveheretoforecalledprofessionalethicswouldbebetterdescribedasmoralprofessionalism.Thisconclusionleadsustoask,whatsortsofquestionsandconcernswouldoccupyagenuinelyprofessional?WhatwoulditmeantoconnectTheGoodLifeofTeaching aimsatpleasure.Somedesires,Williamsnotes,aimatstatesofaffairsthatdonotinvolvetheagentatall.Ifamotherdesiresthat,afterherdeath,herchildrenshouldndhappiness,itistheoutcomethatisdesired,notthepleasureonemighttakeinimaginingthisoutcomewhilestillalive.Assumptions2and3areproblematicaswell,sotheargumentnevermakesittotherstconclusion(4).Evenifitdid,5seemswildlyexaggeratedandgivesuslittlewarrantforthenaljumpto6.Ourmoralsuspicionofdesirehasdeephistorical,cultural,andreligiousroots,butitiscertainlynotgroundedbytheargumentabove.Whatisespeciallyimportantforourpurposesistonotehowthehistoricalformationofouroppositionbetweenaltruismandself-interest,dutyandinclination,dovetailswiththeriseofsecularcallingsorprofessions.Taylorexplains:Withtheafrmationofeverydaylife,agapeisintegratedinanewwayintoanethicofeverydayexistence.Myworkinmycallingoughttobeforthegeneralgood.Thisinsistenceonpracticalhelp,ondoinggoodforpeople,iscarriedoninthevarioussemi-secularizedsuccessorethics,e.g.withBaconandLocke.Theprincipalvirtueinourdealingwithothersisnownolongerjustjusticeandtemperancebutbenecence.Withtheinternalizationofethicalthought,whereinclinationsarecrucial,themotiveofbenevolencebecomesthekeytogoodness.(Taylor,1989,p.258)AstheChristiannotionofcharitytravelsfromtheworldofAugustinetothatofBaconandLockeitchangesinimportantways.Inparticular,thenewvalueonthehorizon,accordingtoTaylor,isanafrmationofthemundaneworld.TheChristianideaofbecomessemi-secularized,reworkedaspartofanewethicofeverydaylife.AndwhatisespeciallyintriguingforourpurposesisTaylorssuggestionthatthereisanagapismbuiltintotheverylogicofprofessionalization.Withthisinmind,weturninthenextsectiontoaconsiderationofhowWilliamsethics/moralitydistinctionmapsontotheterrainofprofessionalethics.FROMMORALPROFESSIONALISMTOPROFESSIONALETHICSThenextquestiontoconsideriswhetherthismoralcrampinourethicalthinkingextendsintothedomainofprofessionalethics.Taylorhasalreadyprovidedusahint,namelythattheveryideaofaprofessionwasbornofthesamehistoricalmomentinwhichmodernmoralitywastakingshape.Theconceptsofaltruismandprofessionalismseemtobeintertwined.Consider,forexample,WilliamSullivansrehearsalofthethreeconventionalcriteriaforstatusasaprofession:(1)specializedtraininginaeldofcodiedknowledgeusuallyacquiredbyformaleducationandapprenticeship,(2)publicrecognitionofacertainWorkandFlourishing law.Thus,iftheshopkeeperinKantsfamousexamplegivesthecorrectchangetothechildbecausehethinksthisissmartbusinesspractice,itdoesnotcountasamoralaction.OnKantsview,itwouldstillbetooconsequentialist,iflessegoistic,fortheshopkeepertodesiretheoutcomethatthechildhavethecorrectchangetoavoidbeingreprimandedbyhisparents.Meanwhile,theshopkeepermustalsonotbemotivatedbythedesiretobeakindperson(oragoodKantian).Whileourrespectbeforethemorallawdoesspeaktoourexcellence(thatwearerationalbeingswithdignity)wearenotsupposedtolistenlestitturnoutthatmoralactionbeactuallymotivatedbyvanityor...innersatisfactioninspreadingjoy(p.14).Evenactionsthatseemtohavebeenentirelymotivatedbyduty,Kantworries,mayhaveasecretimpulseofself-lovesothateventhestrictestexaminationcanneverleadusentirelybehindthesecretincentives(p.23).ThisleadsKanttotheextraordinaryclaimthattheremayneverhavebeenasinglemoralactioninallofhumanhistory(EarlierImentionedthatTayloridentiestwomajortransformationsinourethicalunderstandingofdesireandgoodness.Therstconcernedtheinternalizationofmoralsources,theriseofagapeandthedenigrationoferos;thesecond,earlymodernshiftshowsagape...slidingintobenevolenceoraltruism(Taylor,1989,p.314).Thus,Taylorchartsthechangefromwantingthegood,towantingintherightway,towillingratherthanwanting.BythetimetheChristiandoctrineoflovewithitscharity/concupiscencedistinctionhadhardenedintotheEnlightenmentscalculusofself-interestandaltruism,desirehasbecomeaguidenottothegoodbuttothebad.Astheinheritorsofthisausteretradition,thequestionWasitformyowngainorthegoodoftheother?isalwaysatthecenterofourmoraldeliberations.Wendourselvesdeningdutyinoppositiontoinclinationandjudgingaltruismbyitsdistancefromself-interest.ForWilliams,thekeyistorecastthisreceivedideaintheformofanexplicitargument,forwhenwedothiswecanseejusthowriddledwithfaultyassumptionsitis:1.Anythingmotivatedbydesireisdirectedtowardpleasure.2.Thepursuitofpleasureisegoistic.3.Ethicalmotivationinvolvesacontrastwiththeegoistic.4.[from13]Therefore,desirecannotbethemotivationforethical5.Theonlymotivationotherthandesireisasenseofobligation.6.[from45]Therefore,theethicalmustbeconcernedwithobligations.Theargumentmaybevalidbutitisthoroughlyunsound.AccordingtoWilliams,almostalloftheassumptionsofthisargumentarewrong(Williams,1985,p.49).Abouttherstpremise,forexample,Williamsnotesthatitisalreadyfalsetothinkthatthesatisfactionofeverydesireissuesinpleasure,butitisfalsetothepointofincoherencetosaythateverydesireTheGoodLifeofTeaching TheGoodLifeofTeaching ,FirstEdition.ChrisHiggins. r 2011ChrisHiggins.Published2011byBlackwellPublishingLtd. P ART I TheVirtuesofVocation FromMoralProfessionalismtoPracticalEthics COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AndofcoursethisisnottheonlychangeweseeinChristianethics.AsTaylorpointsout:ThisisonerespectinwhichChristianitywasradicallydifferentthanpaganthought.Thehighestvirtuewasakindoflove,unstintinggiving,whoseparadigmexemplargavehislifeforothers.Thecentreofgravityofthemorallifeshifts(p.258).So,ontheonehand,ChristianethicsfromtheearlyChurchFathersallthewaythroughAquinasremainsaretaic/eudaimonistic.TheethicaltaskisstilltoanswerSocratesquestion,toexplaintotheagentwhyacertainformoflifeisgoodforhim.Whatisradicalisitselevationofcertainvirtues,itselaborationofnewvirtues,anditssupernaturalideaofthehuman.Whatdivides,say,AristotleandtheNewTestament,then,isnotwhethertheirviewsarebroadlyspeakingaretaic,buthowtheyconceiveofthevirtues.NeitherthesimilaritynorthegapbetweenGreekethicsandChristianethicsshouldbeexaggerated,apointwhichMacIntyrestressesinhiscolorfulway:TheNewTestamentsaccountofthevirtues,evenifitdiffersasmuchasitdoesincontentfromAristotlesAristotlewouldcertainlynothaveadmiredJesusChristandhewouldhavebeenhorriedbySt.PauldoeshavethesamelogicalandconceptualstructureasAristotles.Avirtueis,aswithAristotle,aqualitytheexerciseofwhichleadstotheachievementofthehuman(MacIntyre,2007[1981],p.184).TheethicsofStPaulisstillstructurallyeudaimonisticfaith,hope,andcharityareofferedaselementsofahappyandadmirablelife,andnotbitterdutiesrunningdirectlycontrarytoallinclination.Atthesametime,weseetheseedsofmodernmoralityscategoricaldistrustofdesireandegoinathinkerlikePaul.Charityvauntethnotitself,isnotpuffedup,StPaulsays,andseekethnotherown(ICor.4,5).AsTaylorshows,onecantracethisdistinctionbetweenconcupiscenceandcharityrightintoearlymodernity.Forexample,hendsinthehyper-AugustinianismoftheJanseniststheworrythatonemayneverknowwhetheronesprayerreallyowsfromgraceorfromsomeself-servingmotivation(Taylor,1989,p.356).Fromhere,itisbutashortjumptoasimilarsecular,moralideawendinKant,whomTaylorndsdrawingheavilyonAugustinesmodelofthetwoloves,thetwodirectionsofhumanmotivation(p.366).AccordingtoKant,themoralactormustnotbeinclinedtodohisdutyortheactionceasestobemoral.Wearenotactingduty,Kant(1997[1785],p.13)argued,whensomedirectinclinationorlongertermselshpurposeleadsustoactinaccordancewithduty.ForKant,wecannotevenbemotivatedbythepromotionofhappinessofothers(p.17).Moralactionsmustbemotivatedsolelybyrespectforduty,bybeforethemoralWorkandFlourishing goodbecausewevalueit,acrucialandhighlyproblematicreversaloftheideafoundintheancientsthatwecherishsomethingbecauseofitsgoodness.Inclassicalethics,thegoodisimportantlyoutsideandindependentofourwill,anditisthisveryindependencethatcompelsourallegianceandhelpsusshapeourlives.Consider,bywayofcontrast,whatRobertBellahandhiscolleaguesdiscoveredintheirinterestingstudyofUSmoralpsychology(Bellahetal1985).Theyaskedmiddle-class(anditseemsmostlywhite)Americansfromarangeofprofessionswhytheymadethechoicestheydidintheirlives.Invariably,theirsubjectsrespondedthattheirchoicesowedfromtheirvalues.Whenpressedfurther,whenaskedwhytheyheldthosevalues,theyrespondedthatthesewerethevaluestheyhadchosen.Nowthepointisnottocatchpeopleoutinalogicalfallacy.Thecircularreasoninghereisviciousbecauseitimpairsourabilitytoarticulateourvaluesandunderstandourchoices.Onesubject,Brian,talksaboutanearliertimeinhislifeasiftalkingaboutanotherperson(pp.5ff.).Asheseesit,hisformerselfhadonesetofmutuallysupportingvaluesandchoicesandhislaterselfhasanotherset.Whenaskedwhatledtothechangefromonesettothenext,heisataloss.Thepersonwhochooseshisvaluesandwhosevaluesarebackedonlybychoiceswillbepronetoafeelingofarbitrarinessandtoadifcultyinperceivingtheunityofhisorherlife.Inclassicalethics,whereourmoralsourceslieoutsideofus,thekeyquestionsare:Havewexedourattentiononwhatistrulyimportant?Havewedevotedourselvestothingstrulyworthyofourallegiance?Areourprojectsanddesiresorientedtowardwhatisgenuinelygood?AstheseideasaretakenupandtransformedbyChristianthinkers,though,ourmoralsourcesbegintomoveinward.AsTaylorputsit:Christianthoughtintroducesachange,wellarticulatedinAugustine.Thisnaturalbenttolovethegoodcanfail;wesufferthroughaFallfromaperversionofthewill.Therearepotentiallytwolovesinus,ahigheroneandalowerone,charityandconcupiscence(Taylor,1989,p.256).Inotherwords,thereisashiftfromemphasizingonedesirestodesires.Ofcourse,itmakessenseinChristianthoughttoaskwhetheronelovesmereworldlyfameoreternallife,moneyorGod,andsoon.Thepointis,though,thatevenwithinthesetofpreferredobjects,thequestionofmotivationarises:itmatterswhetheroneislovingGodfortherightreasons.WhatTaylorwantsustoseeisthatwhatwasunitedintheclassicalGreeknotionof,namelyourwantingandourstriving,beginstounravelintotworivalnotions:needy,appetitive;andloving,giving(inGreek,).ToknowwhetherIamlivingwell,ImustknowifIampursuingtherightsortsofthings;toknowwhetherIampursuingtherightsortsofthings,Imustknowwhetherthedesireforthemcomesfromtherightpartofmyself.TheGoodLifeofTeaching througharigoroushermeneuticsandsustainedempatheticengagement.Goneisallthisrichdiversity,replacedonlybyadigitalmorallogic:innocentorguilty.WehavenowconsideredseveralkeyfeaturesofWilliamscritiqueofmorality:itsdistortionofpracticalreasoning,itsconvolutionofmoralpsychology,anditsdrasticcollapseoftherichnessandrangeofethicalconsiderationsintotheblackholeofobligation.Thereremainsonecrucialcomponentofmoralitylefttoconsider:itscommitmenttoimpartialityandsuspicionofdesire.Anditisthistopicthatwillleadustothequestionofthenatureofprofessionalethics.WHATDOMORALAGENTSWANT?Formuchofthehistoryofethics,questionsaboutwhatandhowonedesiresorloveshavebeencentraltopicsforethicalconsideration.Inmodernmorality,whilestillboastingastarringrole,desireisnowalwayscastasthevillain.Anddesiredoesseemperfectforthepart.Afterall,ifdutyistobethehero,theninclinationmustbethefoil,sincetheseappeartobeopposites.Desireisgraspingandself-interested;moralityisaboutcheckingself-interestinthelightofimpersonaloraltruisticdemands.Thehistoryofethics,however,beliestheclaimthatsuchconclusionsareinevitable.Indeed,inmanyethicalsystems,desireisthoughtofpreciselyasaguidetowhatisgood.HereWilliamsofferstheexampleofthescholasticmottoeverythingpursuedispursuedasbeingsomethinggood(omneappetitumappetitursubspecie)(p.58).Howdowegetfrominclinationasaguidetothegoodtoinclinationastheantithesisofmoralduty?Howdowegetfromdesireasacentralethicalconcepttodesireasmorallyirrelevant,evendangerous?SourcesoftheSelf,CharlesTaylortracesjustthishistory.ThoughTaylorshistoryisrichinincidentaldetail,forourpurposeswemayconcentrateontwokeymoments,twomajorshiftsinourunderstandingofreason,desire,andgoodness.Inancientethics,Taylorremindsus,reasonwasalsothoughtcrucialforleadingagoodlifebutthismeantsomethingverydifferentthanwhatitcomestomeaninmodernity.Fortheancients:Welovethegood,andthegoodweloveisintheorderofthings,aswellasinthewisesoul,alignedwithnature.Butthesecondoftheseordersisnotself-sufcient:wecanonlyhaveorderinthesoulinseeingandlovingtheorderofthings.ForPlatothismeanshavingavisionoftheGood;fortheStoicsthismeansseeingandafrmingthecourseoftheworld...Reasonisunderstoodsubstantively:rationalityisthepowertograsptheorderofthings,itselfareectionofreason(Taylor,1989,p.255).Whatisstrikingaboutthisconceptionisitsdistancefromthelogicofmodernvaluestalk.Asnotedearlier,wemodernsareapttosaythatsomethingisWorkandFlourishing example,ageneralobligationtosupporttheartswheneverpossible.Theideaisthatsinceherpromisetotheartsismoregeneral,itsupersedesherpromisetovisitherfriendonthisparticularweekendandshecancancelhertripwithaclearconscience.However,asWilliamssuggests,thismaybejustthebeginningofAsOncethejourneyintomoregeneralobligationshasstarted,wemaybegintogetintotroublenotjustphilosophicaltrouble,butconsciencetroublewithndingroomformorallyindifferentactions.Ihavealreadymentionedthepossiblemoralconclusionthatonetakesomeparticularcourseofaction.ThatmeansthatthereisnothingelsethatIamobligedtodo.Butifwehaveacceptedgeneralandindeterminateobligationstofurthervariousmoralobjectives,asthelastsetofthoughtsencouragesustodo,theywillbewaitingtoprovideworkforidlehands,andthethoughtcangainafooting(Iamnotsayingithasto)thatIcouldbebetteremployedthanindoingsomethingthatIamundernoobligationtodo,and,ifIcouldbe,thenIoughttobe:IamunderanobligationnottowastetimeindoingthingsIamundernoobligationtodo...Ifobligationisallowedtostructureethicalthought,thereareseveralnaturalwaysinwhichitcancometodominatelifealtogether(pp.181182).HereWilliamsdescribestheknotswhichresultwhenwetrytolivebymoralityalone,crammingalloftheevaluativedimensionsoflifeintotheideaofobligation.AndyetthisextremeCalvinistlogicwhenallotherworkisdone,oneheadsdownstairstomoverocksfromonesideofthebasementtotheotherisnottheonlydifcultyforthemodern,moralactor.Blameisthecharacteristicreactionofthemoralitysystem,Williamsnotes,andremorse,orself-reproach,orguilt...isthecharacteristicrst-personalreactionwithinthesystem(p.177).ThisreductiveandseveremoralpsychologyleavesAinadifcultbind,makingitdifcultforhertoarticulatewhatistrulyinvolvedinthechoiceshefaces.Whenthegoodisreducedtotherightandtherightisreducedtocomplyingwithobligations,wemayfeelasenseofvertigoatournewfoundinarticulatenessaboutthegood.Itishardtofathomhowsomanydifferentvocabulariesofevaluation,wholeworldsofappraisalasdifferent,onefromthenext,asOscarWildeisfromPascalcouldbecollapsedintothesingleideaofblame.Thereductioninouremotionallivestothesinglefeelingofguiltisnolesssevere.Gonearethemyriadmoralsentiments(ifImayexpandthatphrase)fromgutreactionssuchaspride,shame,longing,affection,anddisgusttomorecomplicatedemotionalstateslikeenvy,aspiration,dignity,awe,andcommitment.GoneareallthoserichqualitativedistinctionsfromSextusdisturbance/throughRousseausamourpropreamourdesoitoEllisonsvisibility/invisibilitythoseethicalphenomenologiessoparticulartoatime,place,andwriterlyarticulationthattheycanonlybeunderstoodTheGoodLifeofTeaching thequestionofwhatdesiresandcommitmentsweshouldhave.Onecrucialthemerunningthroughneo-aretaicthinkerssuchasMacIntyreandTayloristhatmodernmoralityhasledustoseegoodsmerelyasdesirabilia(anythingwehappentodesire),asiftheirgoodnessstemmedfromourdesiringofthem.Forthecriticsofmorality,however,thisisafundamentalerror:goodsarenotvaluablebecausewevaluethem;wevaluethembecausetheystrikeusasgood.Iftheskepticxesonthisphrasetheystrikeusandpointsoutthatthisisnoguaranteethattheyaretrulygood,thenhehasactuallyhelpedtomakeourcase.Foritisjustthisgapbetweengenuinegoods,towhichItrulyowemyallegiance,andersatzgoodsthatgetserasedontheprojectivistview.AsTaylorputsit,somegoodshecallsthemhypergoodstodistinguishthemfrommeredesirabiliamuststandindependentlyofourdesires,inclinations,orchoices[since]theyrepresentstandardsbywhichthesedesiresandchoicesarejudged(Taylor,1989,p.20).Putanotherway,Asconictinvolvestensionsinherdescriptionsofherself.Ontheonehand,heridentityispartlywovenaroundthedescriptionofherselfasBsfriend.ShewantstobeabletocontinuethinkingofherselfassomeonewhoisamemberofBscircleandassomeonewhoisagoodfriendingeneral.Ontheotherhand,sheseesherselfasanartistandasthekindofpersonwhowouldnotmissthisshow.Inthisway,evenafairlysimpleconicthasthepotentialtoputusintouchwiththebasicethicalquestions:WhoamI?WhatdoIreallylove?WhatdoIhopetobecome?Whatsortsofthingsareworthputtingatthecenterofmylife?ThisethicalreadingdoesnottelluswhichcourseAshouldchoose,butitdoeshighlightwhatisatstakeinAschoice.Williamsworryisthatsuchethicaldeliberationtends,givenourmodernmoraltemper,tobeshort-circuitedbythenotionofobligation.WhiletalkofobligationswouldnotseemtobeverynaturalorhelpfulinasituationsuchasAs,onceitgetsafootholdittendstotakeoverentirely.IfAviewscancellingwithBasthebreakingofamoralobligationtokeepherpromises,Williamssuggests,shewillthenbetemptedtounderstandherdesiretogototheartshowasarivalobligation.Why?Because,asWilliamsobserves,...obligationshaveamoralstringency,whichmeansthatbreakingthemattractsblame.Theonlythingthatcanbecountedontocancelthiswithintheeconomyofmorality,isthattherivalactionshouldrepresentanotherandmorestringentobligation.Moralityencouragestheideathatonlyanobligationcanbeatanobligation(Williams,1985,p.180).Feelingthebiteofconscience,Awillsearchforanevenmorestringentobligationtonullifytherst.TheproblemisthatitdoesnotreallymakesensetosaythatAhasanobligationtogotothisparticularartshowofwhichshejustlearned.Thus,Amayresorttoacommonstrategyofmoralagents,whatWilliamscallstheobligation-out,obligation-inprinciple,answeringthedemandwithinthemoralitysystemtondageneralobligationtobackaparticularone(p.181).Amayunderstandherchoiceasowingfrom,forWorkandFlourishing deliberation.Intheethicalconception,lifeisunderstoodasinevitablytragicinthesensethatweareconstantlyconfrontedwithchoices,choicesinwhichsomethinggoodwillbeleftundone.AsMacIntyreputsit:Onewayinwhichthechoicebetweenrivalgoodsinatragicsituationdiffersfromthemodernchoicebetweenincommensurablemoralpremisesisthatbothofthealternativechoiceswhichconfronttheindividualhavetoberecognizedasleadingtosomeauthenticandsubstantialgood.Bychoosingone,Idonothingtodiminishorderogatefromtheclaimuponmeoftheother;andtherefore,whateverIdo,IshallhaveleftundonewhatIoughttohavedone(MacIntyre,2007[1981],p.224).Atrstsight,moralitymightseemtobenodifferentinthisregard.Afterall,themoraldilemmaisthepreferredgenreofmodernmoralphilosophy.Oncloserinspection,though,thedifferencebetweenthistragicdimensionofethicsandtheconventionsofwhatEdmundPincoffsaptlycallsquandaryethicsisclear(Pincoffs,1971).Moraldilemmas,ofcourse,offernoeasysolutionorperfectchoice,buttheydosuggestthatoneshoulddeterminetherightcourseofaction.Enlightenmentmorality,MacIntyreargues,hastaughtustosearchforaprincipleofprioritybetweenmoralprinciplesthatcouldhelpusselectandjustifythecorrectchoice(MacIntyre,2007[1981],p.224).Themoralactormaybesparedtheanguishofthetragicchoice,butthroughitspeculiarpsychology,moralityimposesanotherdifcultfate.Toillustratethisdifculty,Williamsasksustoimagineacasewherethereisaconictoveraneverydayobligation.ImaginethatanartistwewillcallherAhaspromisedtodriveouttovisitherfriendBoneweekend.Astheweekendapproaches,however,Asuddenlylearnsofarareopportunity:thereistobeashowintownthatweekendofoneofherfavoriteartists,asourceofongoinginspirationforherownwork.Thisisnomereschedulingconict,mindyou.AandB,whowereoncequiteclose,havegrownmoredistantoflate,neitherofthemquitesurewhetherthisisthecauseortheeffectoftheirgettingtogetherlessoften.Meanwhile,Ahascancelledbefore,alwaysforagoodreason,butnotwithoutcausingtension.Finally,letusaddthatthoughAandBsharemanyinterestsandagooddealofhistory,AandBhaveneverreallyconnectedaroundAsloveofart.ShouldAskiptheshoworcancelhertrip?Letuscomparemoralandethicalwaysofhandlingthissortofsituation.Viewedethically,thisisanexampleoftragicchoicebetweenrivalgoods.AenjoysBscompanyandwishesthattheycouldrecapturetheintimacytheyonceenjoyed.AworriesthatcancellingwillnotonlyhurtBsfeelingsbutsignicantlystrainthisrelationshipwhichshevalues.Itisimportanttoseethat,inthisethicallightatleast,thisisnotmerelyaquestionofmaximizingonespleasure.ThequestionforAisnotmerelywhichcoursewillbettersatisfyherexistingdesires.Thereisamorefundamentalquestionraisedbysituationssuchasthis,onethatwecansometimesdodgeorpostpone,butneverentirelyavoid.ThatisTheGoodLifeofTeaching Bothethicsandmoralityaccordahighplacetoreason,butourconceptionofreasonhaschangedradicallysincethetimeoftheGreeks.Intheclassicalconceptionofethics,rationalityissubstantive.Itinvolvesknowledgeofwhatisgoodandaperceptualabilitytoseewhatthosegoodsmightmeaninconcretesituations.Theformeramountstoakindofcontactwiththeorderofthingsratherthantheexerciseofanorderingfaculty.Thelatter,practicalwisdom,involveslettingonesidealsdictatewhatissalientinasituationevenasoneletsthespecicityofthesituationinformouridealsinwayswecouldnothaveanticipated.Incontrast,themodernconceptionofrationalityisdistinguishedbyitsexpositoryandproceduralnature.Wenowconsidersomethingrational,Williamsargues,onlyifthereasonsforitcanbespelledoutclearlyinawidelyaccessiblelanguage.Itisnotmerelythedemandforarticulationofreasonsthatdistinguishesthemodernapproachtopracticalreason,butitsfurtherdemandforaclearlystatedprocedurefororganizingandassessingsuchreasons.Comparetheplaceofargumentinsubstantiveethics.Itiscertainlypossibletoarguewithinandacrossethics,butsuchargumentisalwayssupportedby,andindeedtakesplacein,thick,descriptivelanguages.Thismeansthatethicalargumentinevitablytakestheformofredescription.Inotherwords,wetellstoriesinwhichtheactors(ourselvesandothers)emergeas,forexample,heartless,witty,orheroic.Suchstorieshelpustodeterminenotonlyifaparticularevaluativetermisfair,butalsowhichethicaltermsaremostlikelytobeilluminatinginthecaseathand.Itisnotunderstoodaheadoftimethatallactionswillbejudged,say,fortheirheroism.Rather,itisaparticularnarrationkeyedtospeciceventsandembeddedinacommunityofdiscoursethathelpstoconvinceusthatabinarylikeheroic/cowardlytsthebill.Thismeansthatthereisnolimittothenumberofconsiderationsthatmightapplytoagivencaseandnoendtoethicalargument.Ethicallanguageisinescapablyprovincialourrichlanguagesofpraiseandcritiquegrowoutofconcretehistorical,social-culturalmilieux,andtheonlywaytobecomelessprovincialisthroughconversation,thatis,throughdialogicalencounterswithotherevaluativelanguages.Morality,oneofwhosehiddenethicalidealsiscosmopolitanism,takesthisfreedomfromprovincialityasoneofitshighestpriorities.Onlyithopestooptoutoftheslowand,asitwere,horizontalrouteofconversation,attemptingtoyfreeofprovincialtethersthroughabstraction.Thusmoralityseeksacommonprocedureforadjudicatingallmoralclaimsinasingledeliberativelanguagethinenoughtobeapplicableinallsituations.Indeed,inmoralityonesingleconceptcomestodominateourethicalthinking.Itisthemistakeofmorality,Williamsargues,totryandmakeeverythingintoobligations(p.174).Inamoment,Iwanttoconsiderhowthisplacesthemoralagentinaspecialbindandhowitimpoverishesourvocabulariesofadmirationanddisdain.First,though,letusnoteoneapparentattractionofthisview,namelythatitwouldseemtoofferusawaytoescapefromoneofthepainfulaspectsofethicalWorkandFlourishing rangeofethicaloutlooksandthuscannotbeconsideredonedeterminatesetofethicalthoughts(.).Atthesametime,hemaintainsthatthereisacommonspiritthatcutsacrosssuchdivisionsanddebates(.).Itissimplythatwearetooclosetoperceiveitreadily.AsWilliamsputsit,moralityissomuchwithusthatmoralphilosophyspendsmuchofitstimediscussingthedifferencesbetweenthoseoutlooks,ratherthanthedifferencebetweenallofthemandeverythingelse(.).Thus,suchseemingadversariesasconsequentialismanddeontologyturnouttohavemoreincommon,relativetoeudaimonisticethics,thantheyhavedifferences.InKantandMill,intheoriginalpositionandthetrolleyproblem,weultimatelyndthesamegeneralpictureofethicallife(ForWilliams,then,moralityistheoutlook,or,incoherently,partoftheoutlook,ofalmostallofus.Moralityisourcurrentethical,inthesensethatahorizoncutsoffonesvisionbutalsogivesonetheimpressionofsurveyingthewholelandscape.Thisbringsustotheseconddifculty.Fornowthatwehavestartedtoseetheunityofmorality,itbecomesdifcultytoseeitasoneethicalsystemamongmany,sinceitseemstooccupythewholeterritoryoftheethical.ThisiswhythinkerssuchasMacIntyre,Taylor,andWilliamsturntohistory,andGreekethicsinparticular,tohelpthemdenaturalizesuchmoderntruismsastheequationofethicswithaltruismandobligation.Hermeneuticallysensitiveworkwithhistoricallyrecessedtextscanrevealalternativehorizonsofethicalthought(Istressthequalityoftheengagementsincehistoricaltextsmaybereadsimplyasconrmingourmodernprejudices).Onceoneacquiresthisbroaderhistoricalhorizon,theentirecomplexofmoralitybeginstoappearasbutonenarrowsub-systemwithinethics.WehavenowmadeshortworkoftwointerpretiveproblemspresentedbyWilliamsclaimthatmoralityisbutoneparticularvarietyofethicalthought.Thethirddifcultywillprovemorecomplicated,leadingusintotheheartoftheethics/moralitydistinction.TheproblemisthatWilliamsseemstoconsidermoralitybothanethicalsystemandananti-ethicalsystem.Ontheonehand,heseesmoralityasthemoderninheritorofthetraditionrunningdownfromSocratesquestion;ontheotherhandheseesmoralityasabetrayalofthattradition,havingbanishedSocratesquestiontotheself-helpsectionatthebookstore.ThisambiguityisplainwhenweconsidertherelationtothetwofundamentalethicalassumptionscontainedinSocratesquestion.Moralitydoesmanifestanethicallineageinsofarasitemphasizesreectionintherealmofthepractical,butitdevelopseachofthesecoreethicalnotionsinafatefulway.Inthehandsofmorality,thepracticalattitudeistransformedfromsomethingessentiallypartialtoaninstrumentofimpartiality.Theinvitationtoreection,meanwhile,isre-interpretedasacalltoengageinakindofpublic,proceduralrationality.Toseehowtheformerreversaltakesplace,wemustrstunderstandthedifferencebetweenancientethicalreectionandmodernmoraldeliberation.Thiswillleadusintothenotionofmoralobligationuntilwereturnnallytoimpartialityandmoralityssuspicionofdesire.TheGoodLifeofTeaching 15.ForMacIntyrescritiqueofemotivism,seeMacIntyre,2007[1981],chaps.23.ForTaylorscritiqueofprojectivismandhisdefenceofmoralontologyandtheindependenceofhypergoods,seeTaylor,1989,PartI.16.ThankstoKatieMcMillanCulpforthismemorablewayofcapturingtheessenceofCalvinism.17.On,orfreedomfromdisturbance,inskepticismandotherschoolsofHellenisticethics,see,e.g.Nussbaum(1996,esp.chap.8).ForRousseausdistinctionbetweenhealthyself-regardandthatwhichisarticialandcorruptibleseehisnoteintheDiscourseonInequality(Rousseau,1997[1754],p.218;quotedinNeuhouser,2008,p.30)andhisdenitioninBookIof(Rousseau,1979[1762],pp.9293);Rousseaudevelopsthedistinctionanditsimplicationsthroughout,butseeespeciallyBookIV;helpfulcommentariesonRousseausconceptsofself-loveinclude:Bloomsintroduction(inRousseau,1979[1762],pp.328);Dent,1988,chaps.2-3;OHagan,1999,chap.VII;andNeuhouser,2008.Forthedenitiveexplorationofwhatitisliketoliveinsideabubbleofstructuralmisrecognition,seeEllison,1995[1952].18.HereIhavetakenthelibertyofformalizingWilliamsnarrativedescriptionofthisargument(seeWilliams,1985,p.49).19.Again,IhavetakensomelibertieswithanexampleprovidedbyWilliams(seeWilliams,1985,p.50).20.IthinkSullivanhedgeshere,mixinginsomeofwhathehopesprofessionalismwillmeanwithhisstatementofwhatithasmeant.Thoughapprenticeshipsurelyhasbeenacrucialmeansbywhichallpracticeshavesustainedthemselves,itisthiscodicationofknowledgethathasbeenkeyinearningtheprestigeofaprofession.Tohaveabodyofdetachable,transferrableknowledgestandingbehindyoulendsprestige.Thisideahastendedtovalorizeknowledgeoverknow-,forcingpracticestoredescribehowtheyactuallyoperateandtogenerateabodyofresearchtolegitimizethemselves.Ifthekeytosuccessinapracticeispracticalwisdom,anideawewillconsiderlater,thanthiscanbelearnedonlythroughexperienceandapprenticeship,andthisideaishardtoreconcilenotonlywiththehugeapparatusoftheprofessionalschoolsbutespeciallywiththebasiclogicofprofessionalizationastherhetoricalstrategyforestablishing,inAndrewAbbotsterm,jurisdiction(seeAbbot,1988).IreturntotheseissuesinChapter8(seebelow,pp.254256and273278).21.Seminarpresentation,Fudan-UIUCAdvancedTrainingandResearchSeminaronPhilosophyofEducation,CollegeofEducation,UniversityofIllinois,Champaign,IL,July79,2008.22.Inwhatfollows,IamdrawingprimarilyfromWilliams,1981c.However,anequallyimportantsourceforthislineofthoughtisWilliams,1981b.CompareWilliams,1981a;and1973,chaps.34and15.23.IexplorethisthemeindetailinrelationtoDeweysconceptofpurposivenessinChapter4(seebelow,pp.121125).SeealsoLearsbrilliantexplorationofwhatitmightmeantoliveoneswaythroughtoanewhorizonofpossibilitieswhenonesculturalframehascollapsed(Lear,2006a).24.Forafascinatinginvestigationwhichmakesthisneedtomakeroomforoneselfcentraltoitsphilosophicalanthropology,seeBecker,1997.WorkandFlourishing Theotherpointtomakehereisthattheindividualdifferenceswedondareallthemorechargedfortheirrarity.Modernvalues-talkwouldmakeitseemasifrivalanswerstoSocratesquestioncouldrestcomfortablysidebyside.Infact,itmattersverymuchtouswhetherfamily,friends,neighbours,andpublicguresholddifferentviewsofthegoodlife.Whatappearstobemoralrelativismisoftenthescrupulouspracticeofaspecicvirtue,namelytolerance.Andeventhosewhodomakeapracticeofnotjudgingtheactionsofotherswiththeirownethicalnormstendtobefarlessforgivingofthemselves.NothingprovokesafreshencounterwithSocratesquestionlikelearningthatsomeonewhomwerespectandwithwhomweidentifyhasadifferentunderstandingofwhatismostworthwhileinlife.Thisiswhy,eventhougheveryonehasapersonalunderstandingofwhatisgoodandwheretheystandinrelationtothatgood,itisexcitingandprotable(ifalsofrighteninganddangerous)toengageindialoguewithothersabouttheseInsum,ethicsgrowsoutofrst-personal,practicalquestionsaboutwhoIwanttobeandhowIshouldlive.Ethicscanbeinterpersonal,insofaraswereectindialogueandbymeansofasharedlanguage,butitisneverimpersonal.Itisrootedintheexistentialchallengethateachofusmustgureoutwhattodowiththeparticularlifewehavebeengiven.Thereisapushinethicalreectiontogeneralizebeyondthepresentmomentofapersonaldecisiontoconsideroneslifeasawhole,andtothinkaboutwhatconstitutesthegoodlifeforhumanbeingsingeneral.Atthesametime,ethicalidealsarealwaysembodiedinconcretewaysoflifeandethicallanguageisinescapablythickandqualitative.MODERNMORALMYOPIAIhavealreadyhighlightedsomeofthewaysinwhichthisoldertraditionofethicsishardtoreconcilewithourmodernmoralmindset.Theeudaimonisticoutlookmaystrikeusastooreligious,tooaesthetic,toopsychological,orjustplaintooself-centeredtobeconsideredproperlyethical.ThisisbecausemodernethicalthoughthasdevelopedinwhatWilliamscallsapeculiardirection.Indeed,Williamsndsethicssoaltered,andsonarrowed,inmodernitythathecoinsaseparatetermforit.Heretainsethicsashisnamefortheolderandbroadertraditionofthinkingaboutthenormative,andusesmoralitytodesignatethenewerandnarrowerapproach.AccordingtoWilliams,moralityconstitutesbutoneparticularvarietyofethicalthought(Williams,1985,p.174).Asintriguingasthisclaimmaybe,itposesthreeimmediatedifculties.Therstliesinseeingmodernmoralthinkingasthing,asauniedwhole.Afterall,inthecurrentscenewendnotharmonybuttensedebates(abortion,euthanasia,etc.)andrivalcamps(consequentialism,deontology,contractarianism,etc.).WilliamsdoesacknowledgethatmoralityembracesaWorkandFlourishing Eudaimoniaissometimestranslatedashappiness,butitisunlikemodernconceptsofhappinessinimportantrespects.Eudaimoniadoesnotrefertoeetingmoodsbuttotheshapeofoneslifeasawhole.Furthermore,whereashappinessistypicallyunderstoodasasubjectiveexperience,eudaimoniareferstoobjectivequalitiesofthatlife.Whereasitmightseemstrangetochallengeapersonsself-reportaboutapersonshappinessorlackthereof,itmightwellbeotherswhohavetheclearestperspectiveonwhetherapersonistrulyourishing.Williamssuggestswell-being,butthistermtooseemstohavebeenovertakenbylargelysubjectiveconnotations(seeWilliams,1985,p.34).Inwhatfollows,Iwillsometimesrefertoourishingandsometimessimplyretainuntranslatedtoremindusofitsdistancefromourpreconceptions.Tosome,ourishingmaysoundtoonaturalisticafterall,wespeakoftheourishingofplants.Thus,itmaybehelpfultokeepinmindthephrasesfaringwellandlivingwell.7.Iexplorethistopicingreaterdetaillaterinthechapter(seepp.31).8.HereIrefertoWittgensteinsfamousprivatelanguageargumentandtoTaylorshelpfulapplicationofittothecaseofqualitativelanguagesinhisdiscussionofidentityandwebsofinterlocution(seeWittgenstein,1973[1953];Taylor,1989,pp.3539).Theprivatelanguageargumentisexplicitlytreatedin14375oftheInvestigations,thoughKripkemakesthecasethatitisthesectionsleadingupto143thataretrulykeytotheargument(seeKripke,1982).9.MacIntyreandTaylorarebothexcellentonthispoint(see,e.g.Taylor,1989,pp.3940;10.TheoriginalpositionreferstothefamousdeviceemployedbyJohnRawls(see,1999,pp.1018and102170).Thetrolleyproblemisafamousmoraldilemma;see,forexample,Thompson,1985.Inwhatfollows,IdrawprimarilyonWilliamstocharacterizemodernmorality.However,thereadershouldalsoconsultTaylorsbrilliantportraitofawidetrendinmodernmoralphilosophyandMacIntyrespowerfulindictmentofthecultureofemotivism(MacIntyre,2007[1981],chaps.23;Taylor,1989,pp.7890).11.ForthisreadingofAristotles,seeGadamer,2004[1960],pp.309319andmydiscussionofpracticalwisdominChapter4(below,pp.130139).12.HereImeanconversationbothinitsliteralsense,i.e.talkingwithsomeonewhotellsdifferentkindsofstoriesorbelongstoanothercommunityofdiscourse,andinthemetaphoricsensedescribedbyGadamerencompassingencounterswithtexts,times,oraspectsoftheworldwhicharepartiallyalientooursensibilities(seeGadamer,2004[1960],pp.313322).13.IfWilliamsisrightthatwecannotlivewithoutconfrontingSocratesquestion,andTaylorisrightthattoleadaliferequiressomesenseevenifentirelytacitofwhatishighestandwherewestandinrelationtosuchsubstantiveidealsorhypergoods,thencriticsofmoralityfaceariddle.Forifmodernmoralitytrulyinvalidatesandexcludessuchideals,thenhowdomodernmoralistsgetonwiththeirlives?ThesolutionforbothWilliamsandTayloristoshowhowmoralityspreferencesforthinuniversalisablerulesandprinciples,andforaltruisticdutiesandobligations,revealanattachmenttohiddenidealsoftruesubstanceandunmistakablehistorico-culturalorigin.ThereferenceheretocosmopolitanismcomesfromTaylorsdiscussionofHabermasdiscourseethics(Taylor,1989,p.85).Williamspointsoutanotherhiddenethiclurkingwithinmorality,theidealofpurity(afactnotedbyTaylorinthepassagejustcited)(Williams,1985,p.195).CompareMacIntyresdiscussionoftheunmistakablestampofLutheranPietismonKantsmoralphilosophy(MacIntyre,2007[1981],pp.43ff.).14.Williamsoutlinesthisbasicscenario,askingthereadertollinthedetail,whichIhavedone(seeWilliams,1985,p.180).TheGoodLifeofTeaching thattheethicallifeservessomesetofindividualsatisfactionswhichiswelldenedbeforeethicalconsiderationsappear(p.32).Greekethicshasanirreduciblyrst-personalquality.Evenwhenoneisreectingaboutother-regardingvirtues,Williamssays,itisstillhisownwell-beingthattheagentinSocraticreectionwillbeconsidering(p.50).WilliamscallsthisegoismformaltoheadoffthemistakenimpressionthatSocratesquestioncallsforanswerswhichareegoisticincontent,invitingagentstothinkonlyofthemselves.Oncewedistinguishbetweenthesevarietiesofegoism,wecanseethepracticalpullandreectivepushofethicsasaproductivetensionratherthanatroublingcontradiction.Still,suchaformallyegoisticethicsmayseem,iflesscrass,tooindividualistic.Here,too,anachronismblursourvision.AsMacIntyreandTaylorhaveconvincinglyshown,whileethicsisrootedintheexistentialpredicamentandmoralpsychologyoftheindividual,thishardlymakesitindividualisticinthemodernsense.MacIntyreshowshowthedistinctionbetweenselfandsocialrole,denitiveofmodernindividualism,isincompatiblewithvirtueethics(seee.g.MacIntyre,2007[1981],chaps.3and15).Meanwhile,Taylortracestheriseofthemodernselfasatomizedandinteriorized;oncewehavecometoseetheselfasacontainer,itbecomesdifculttoconceiveofthegoodassomethingindependentofthemoralagent(Taylor,1989,esp.chap.11).AnotherpossiblemisunderstandingoftheformalegoismofeudaimonisticethicsisthatbecauseeveryonemustanswerSocratesquestionforthemselves,thattheycouldorshouldsomehowansweritthemselves.Thismisunder-standingisaidedbythetendency,inmodernvalues-talk,toexaggerateboththeamountbywhichpeopledifferfromeachotheronnormativequestionsandtheeaseoftakingarelativisticstancetowardanother.Tobringdiscussiontoacrashinghalt,justutterthemagicwords:thesearemyvalues.WhatthinkerssuchasTaylorandMacIntyrehaveshown,though,isthateventhemostprivatedeliberationisconductedinarelativelypubliclanguage.Ethicalreectionalwaystakesplaceinaparticularlanguage,alanguagewelearnfromandsharewithothers.Eachlanguagewillhaveitsparticularqualitativevocabularyandethicalemphases,butthismeansthatnormativedifferencesaremorelikelyacrosssocialgroupsthanbetweenindividuals.Indeed,asTaylorshows,eventhesesocial-culturaldifferencesarerelativelytrivialcomparedtothetectonicshiftsinourvisionsofhumanourishingovertime.SourcesoftheSelfoutlinesaseriesofepochalethicalhorizonsfromGreekantiquitytothepresent(Taylor,1989,partsIIV).Onelessontobedrawnfromthisisthat,atanyonetime,ourviewsonthemostimportantmatters(andespeciallyonwhichconstitutethemostimportantmatters)areremarkablyuniform.Furthermore,whendisagreementdoesoccur,itisonlymeaningfulagainstthebackdropofasharedtradition.Indeed,modernindividualismtheideathatoneshouldstrivetobecomeonesownperson,tochallengereceivedideas,andtothinkforoneselfisitselfjustonepowerful,widelysharedethicaltraditionamongmanyothers.TheGoodLifeofTeaching Thefactisthatmodern,Englishterms(andtheirmodern,westernequivalentsinvariouslanguages)willtendtohave(whatWilliamscalls)moralshadingsifheisrightaboutthewidespreadmodernreductionofethicstomorality.Indeed,whenwecomparephraseslikethemorallifewithSenateSelectCommitteeonEthics(whichhandlesthingslikedisclosureoftravelexpenses)weseethatinmodernparlanceethicsissometimesthenarrowerterm.Whatmattersisthatwemarkthedistinctionsimplyandconsistentlyandthendevelopitindetail.Thus,WilliamsclearifarbitraryformulationseemssuperiortothoseofTaylorandMacIntyre.Taylorsconcerntoreopenmoralphilosophytoquestionsaboutidentityandideals,issuesofdesire,emotion,andattention,andavocabularythatisrichlyqualitativeorunabashedlyspiritual,isnotatalldissimilarfromWilliamsproject.UnlikeWilliams,though,hechoosestoretainthewordmoraltonameboththenarrowerandthebroaderversionsofmoralphilosophy.ThisleadsTaylortoadoptcumbersomephrasessuchasmoralityinanarrowsenseandconfusingformulationssuchashisclaimthatmoralityisonlyoneofthethreeaxesalongwhichwedoourmoralthinking(Taylor,1989,pp.3,15).MacIntyre,likeTaylor,seemstowanttokeepbothethicsandmoralityinplayastermsadmittingofbroaderandnarroweruses.Thus,heusesbothethicsandmoralityindescribingthetraditionheseekstorecuperateandtheenlightenmentprojectherepudiates.IwillsometimesrefertothatwhichWilliams,Taylor,andMacIntyreseektorestoreassubstantiveethics,butthishasitsproblemsaswell,sinceIdonotmeantosuggestthattheonlynarrownessinthemoralitysystemisitsproceduralquality.Meanwhile,asmyIntroductionandParttitlesindicate,Iwillalsousethephrasevirtueethicstomarktheolder,broaderapproachtothenormative.Hereagain,though,itisimportanttogetclearonjustwhatsortofdistinctionthisentails.Forexample,itisnotenoughtolist,asmostintroductorytextsinethicsnowdo,virtueethicsasonespeciesofethicaltheoryalongwithconsequentialism,deontology,contractualism,etc.Ifvirtueethicsmeanssimplyamodernmeta-ethicalpositioninwhichcharacterisstressedoverprinciplesandconsequences,mostoftheimportantcontrastswillbelost.Afterall,thepointoftherevivalofvirtueethicshasbeentocritiquemodernmeta-ethicalassumptionsshowinghow,from(whatWilliamscalls)anethicalvantagepoint,thesevariousrivalmoraltheoriesareactuallyunitedonkeyissues.Indeed,anotherreasontobewaryofaddingvirtue-theorytoourlistofmodernmoraltheoriessystemsisthatwhatunitessuchdisparateguresasMurdoch,Taylor,MacIntyre,Nussbaum,andWilliams(whoafteralldisagreeonagreatmanyveryimportantissues)maybepreciselytheiranti-theoreticalstance(seee.g.ClarkeandSimpson,1989).Meanwhile,itisnotjustthetermtheorybuteventhetermvirtuethatcanbemisleading.Afterall,virtueremainedatermincurrencyinmodernmoralthinking.TheEnglishtermvirtuecansoundquitemoralisticindeed.Theworkofphilosophicalretrievalwouldbeeasieriftermsweresimplylost;insteadtheybecomedistorted.Schneewind,forexample,offersanexcellenttreatmentoftheideathatthetruemisfortuneofvirtueisnotneglect,butratheritsveryuptakebymodernmoralists(1997).Seenote19oftheIntroductionforadiscussionofexamplesofnarrowvirtue-ethicalapproachestoprofessionalethics.Withthesecaveatsaboutbothvirtueandtheoryinmind,Iamcontenttocallmyprojectavirtue-theoryofworkorvirtueethicsofprofessionallife(withspecialreferencetoteaching).Attimes,Iwilloptfortheugliertermsaretaic(anEnglishneologismmadeasanadjectivalformoftheGreek,meaningexcellenceorvirtue)andeudaimonistic(aneologismfrom,meaninghappinessorourishingseenote6formoreonthis)sincethesetermsevokevirtueethicswhilealsoremindingustobewaryofourparochialconceptionsofitskeyideas.5.ThisisWilliamstranslationof352d(seeWilliams,1985,p.1).Cf.C.D.C.Reevestranslation(Plato,2004[c.380B.C.E.]).WorkandFlourishing thattheyarealwaysaskedbyaparticularperson,anditisunderstoodthatnothingwouldcountasananswerthatdidnotspeaktothatperson.Thisisbecausetheethicalagentismotivatedbyaconcernforherownbyherdesiretoourish.Someonemightverywellcometothinkthathisourishingwastiedupwiththecultivationofcertainother-directedvirtues,likekindnessorcompassion,butnoethicaldeliberation,inWilliamssense,wouldeverleadsomeonetosacricehisinthenameofaltruism.ForWilliams,acourseofactionhastoappealtothatpersonintermsofsomethingabouthimself,howandwhathewillbeifheisapersonwiththatsortofcharacter(p.32).Asaspeciesofpracticaldeliberation,then,ethicalreectionisessentiallypartial,linkedinextricablytoaparticularagentsdesiresandaspirations.Atthesametime,thereectivenessofSocratesquestionmakesitmoreambitiousthanoureverydaypracticalquestionsintworespects.Thequestionofhowoneshouldlive,Williamssuggests,leadsbeyondameremomentofdecisiontopressademandforreectionononeslifeasawhole(p.5,emphasisinoriginal).EthicalreectionmaybepromptedbyaspecicchoiceIhavetomake,butitsdeningquestionisnot,Whatistherightthingtodointhissituation?Ethicsisbetterrepresentedbyquestionssuchas:WhodoIhopetobecome?Whatisworthyofmytimeandeffort?and,WhatisthebestsortoflifeIcanlive?Asyouwillrecall,though,SocratesquestionwasnotHowshouldIlive?butHowshouldlive?Thisisanimportantdifferencesince,inthelatterform,Iamremindedthatwhilethisquestionismine,itisalsoeveryoneelses.Thus,ethicalreectionnotonlypushesmetogeneralizebeyondaparticularcontextforaction,butalsoinvitesmetogeneralizebeyondmyownexperience.AsWilliamsexplains,Socratesquestionseemstoaskforthereasonsweallshareforlivinginonewayratherthananother;itprovokesustothinkabouttheconditionsofthegoodlifeforhumanbeingsassuch(p.20,emphasisinoriginal).ForWilliams,then,Greekethicsisconstitutedbythetensionbetweenitspracticalpulltowardthepersonalanditsreectivepushtowardtheuniversal.Toourmoderneyes,thismaylookmorelikeambivalenceaboutmoralitythanambiguitywithinethics.This,Williamsargues,isduetoourmodernmoralprejudices,ourtendencytoequateegoismwiththenarrowestformofself-interest,andtoreduceself-interesttothepursuitofpleasure(p.15).HedonismiscertainlyonepossibleresponsetoSocratesquestion,butasGreekethicsamplybearsout,itisfarfromtheonlyoreventhemostlikelyresponse.AsWilliamsexplains:NeitherPlatonorAristotlethoughtoftheethicallifeasadevicethatincreasedselshsatisfactions.Theiroutlookisformallyegoistic,inthesensethattheyhavetoshowtoeachpersonthathehasgoodreasontoliveethically;andthereasonhastoappealtothatpersonintermsofsomethingabouthimself,howandwhathewillbeifheisapersonwiththatsortofcharacter.ButtheiroutlookisnotegoisticinthesensethattheytrytoshowWorkandFlourishing doesworkcontributetothequesttoleadagoodlife?OneimportantquestionraisedaboutthiseudaimonisticconceptionofprofessionalethicswillhavetobedeferreduntilthebeginningofPartII.Forwhenitcomesspecicallytothepracticeofteaching,thisanalysisoftherst-personaldimensionofethicsraisesaspecicobjection:evenifthereisaplaceforeudaimonisticconsiderationsinprofessionalethicsasawhole,isntteachingasahelpingprofession,aprofessionbuiltaroundtheneedsofothersandoftendemandingself-sacricebestunderstoodasanaltruisticcalling?Thequestionofwhyself-interestcanandmustbedefendedpreciselyinahelpingprofessionsuchasteachingwillbethetopicofChapter5.1.Othernotableattemptstoexposethepeculiarityofmodernmoralityinclude:Pincoffs,1971;Stocker,1976;Wolf,1982;andTaylor,1989,esp.pp.7890.2.Onthepriorityofthegood,see,e.g.:Murdoch,1985b[1970];Sandel,1998[1982],1984;andTaylor,1989,esp.PartI.Ontheconceptofalifeasawhole,thereadermaywanttoconsult:MacIntyre,2007[1981],chap.15;Williams,1985,chap.1;andAnnas,1993,chap.1.Onhappinessoreudaimonia,see,e.g.:Ackrill,1980;McDowell,1980;Williams,1985,chap.3;Annas,1993;Lear,2000,Lecture1;andKraut,2007.Someimportantworksinthegeneralrevivalofvirtueethicsare:Foot,1978;McDowell,1979;MacIntyre,2007[1981];Nussbaum,1986;Sherman,1989;andSlote,1992.Onpracticalwisdomorphronesis,Irecommend:Gadamer,2004[1960],pp.309319;Wiggins,1980;Nussbaum,1990b;MacIntyre,1989;Taylor,1995;andLear,2006a.Murdoch(1961,1985[1964])wastheearlychampionofsecondaryethicalterms;seealsoWilliams,1985,pp.127ff.Ontheinseparabilityoftheethicalfromthesocial,historicalandspiritual,see,e.g.:MacIntyre,2007[1981];HauerwasandMacIntyre,1983;andTaylor,1989.TwothinkerswhohaveworkedtoshowtherelevanceofaestheticstoethicsareMurdoch(1998)andNussbaum(1990a).3.Ontheconnectionofidentityandideals,andanarrativetheoryofself,seeMacIntyre,2007[1981],chap.15,andTaylor,1989,esp.pp.2552.Ontheethicalimportanceofpartialityandself-regard,seeWilliams,1981b,1981c;Cottingham,1991,1996;andSlote,1997,1999.Foranexampleoftheturntowardsgreaterrealismandcomplexityinmoralpsychology,seee.g.Flanagan,1990andLears(1990,1998,2000)importantpsychoanalyticenrichmentofethics.4.ThoughIwouldliketodeveloptheethics/moralitydistinctionnarrativelyinthetext,thereadermayappreciateamethodologicaldiscussionupfront.Inwhatfollows,IwilladoptWilliamsterminology,usingthetermethicsfortheolderandbroaderconceptionofthinkingaboutthenormativeandthetermmoralityfortheparticularsub-systemthatcomestodominateethicsinmodernity.ReadersshouldnotbedistractedbyWilliamsadmittedlyarbitrarychoiceoftermshere.Ethicscomesfromthe,andmoralityfromtheLatin(coinedbyCicerototranslate)butbothhadasimilarrangeofmeaningscenteringarounddispositionorcustom(seeWilliams,1985,p.6).Hegelmadeasimilardecision,touseasatermofartforasubstantialethicsrootedincommunallifeincontrasttothethin,rationalistichesawinKant(eventhoughKanthimselfusedMorality).ForcommentaryonHegelsMoralitadistinction,seeTaylor,1979,pp.8294andHabermas,1990;Taylor(1989,p.64)linksWilliamsprojectwithTheGoodLifeofTeaching truncationoftheethicalrealmandrecoveryofamorerobustconceptionofethicshasbeenunderwayforhalfacentury:fromthegroundbreakingearlyessaysofG.E.M.Anscombe(1958),PhilippaFoot(1958a,1958b),andIrisMurdoch(1956)throughAlasdairMacIntyresAfterVirtue(2007[1981],chaps.19).MeanwhiletheprojectofretrievalcalledforbyTaylorhasbeenadvancedonmultiplefronts:withthereassertionofthepriorityofthegoodandtheethicalimportanceoftheshapeofalifeasawhole;withtherecoveryofancientconceptionsofhappiness,virtue,andpracticalwisdom;withthereturnofthethicklanguageofso-calledsecondaryethicaltermsandthereintegrationofsocial,historical,spiritualandaestheticquestionsintoEthicalinquiryhasoflatebecomebothmoreidealistic(exploringvisionsofhumanourishing)andmorerealistic(attemptingtoreconcileethicalnotionswithhumandesireandaliveablemoralpsychology).Asweworktowardanexpandednotionofprofessionalethics,letustakeWilliamsasourchiefguide,reconstructinghisdistinctionbetweenethicsandmorality.Whenhelpful,IwillsupplementWilliamsaccountwithdetailsfromTaylorscritiqueofmodernityscrampedandtruncatedviewofmoralityandhisretrievalofsubstantiveethics(Taylor,1989,p.3).RETRIEVINGSOCRATESQUESTIONForWilliams,thefundamentalethicalquestionisneitherHowoughtItoact?norWhataremyobligationstoothers?Bothofthesequestions,Williamsargues,arefartoonarrow.Ifwearetocapturethefullrangeoftheethical,weneedtoreturntoSocratesquestioninBookIoftheRepublic:Itisnotatrivialquestion,Socrateschideshisinterlocutors,whatwearetalkingaboutishowoneshouldlive.ForWilliams,thisremainsthemostecumenicalinvitationtoethicalreectioneveroffered.Socratesquestion,Williamswrites,isentirelynon-committal,andveryfruitfullyso,aboutthekindsofconsiderationtobeappliedtothequestion(Williams,1985,p.5).Itinvitesyoutothinkabouttheshapeyourlifeistakingandtoconsiderwhatitwouldmeantrulytoourishasahumanbeing,butthismaytranslateintoanyofavarietyofconcerns,fromtherichnessofonesexperiencestothenobilityofonesactions.Onepersonmaywonderifherworkistrulyoriginal,whileanotherwrestleswithwhetherhehasbeengeneroustoothers.Otherswillrespondintermsofauthenticity,responsibility,wisdom,orpiety.Partofwhatthequestionisaskingiswhichethicaltermsbecentralinyourdeliberations,whichidealsreectedinyourchoices.Initself,Socratesquestioncontainsonlytwomajorassumptions:thatethicsispractical,andthatitisreective.Asaparticularlyambitiousexampleofapersonalpracticalquestion(p.18),Williamsargues,itiscloselyrelatedtoquestionssuchaswhatshouldIdonow?andwhatisthebestwayformetolive?(p.5),andthereforeretainstheirradicallyrst-personalquality(p.21).Inotherwords,itisanimportantfactaboutethicalquestionsTheGoodLifeofTeaching Tothisend,Williamsworkstodistinguishthepartialityofgroundprojectsthatitmatterscruciallywhoseprojectstheyarefromthepotentialegoismofsuchprojects:Groundprojectsdonothavetobeselsh,inthesensethattheyarejustconcernedwiththingsfortheagent.Nordotheyhavetobeself-centered,inthesensethatthecreativeprojectsofaRomanticartistcouldbeconsideredself-centered(whereithastobe,butnothim).Theymaycertainlybealtruistic,andinaveryevidentsensemoral,projects;thushemaybeworkingforreform,justice,orgeneralimprovement.Thereisnocontra-dictionintheideaofamansdyingforagroundprojectquitethereverse,sinceifdeathreallyisnecessaryfortheproject,thentolivewouldbetolivewithitunsatised,somethingwhich,ifitreallyishisgroundproject,hehasnoreasontodo(p.13).WhatWilliamsispointingtoisthatitisnotonlyselshandself-centeredgroundprojectstowhichmoralitymustobject.Modernmoralitywillstruggletovalueevenphilanthropicgroundprojects.Tobesure,thephilanthropistwantsthephilanthropicresults,buthealsowantstobethepersonachievingtheseresults(orthepersonmakingthisparticularcontributiontoalargercollaborativeproject).Intheframeworkofmorality,thisfactiseithertoberegretted(sincemanywouldsaythatthetruealtruistalwaysworksanonymously)orignoredasirrelevant.Incontrast,Williamspointsoutthreedifferentlevelsonwhichitmattersethicallywhoseprojectaprojectis(pp.1216).First,evenifsomeonesarrayofprojectsisnotparticularlydistinctive,thefactthatitisthisparticularindividualpursuingthemstillgiveshimorherdistinctively,areasonforlivingthislife,inthesensethathe[orshe]hasnoreasontogiveupandmakeroomforothers(p.15).Second,oneschoiceofprojectsdoestypicallydifferentiateonefromothersthushelpingoneanswernotonlythequestionWhygoon?butalsothequestionWhoamIdistinctivelytobecome?Third,Williamspointsoutthatsuchindividuationisnotonlyagoodfortheoneindividualizingbutisacollectivegoodsinceitisapre-conditionforloveandfriendship,twoindisputablyprecioushumangoodspredicatedonthenon-intersubstitutabilityofhumanbeings(pp.1517).Certainlynotallgroundprojectsareprofessionalpracticesandnotallprofessions(orallpartsofanysingleprofession)suitthemselvesequallytobecomingaprojectinthisethicalsense.Nonetheless,wehavenowmadeapreliminarydefenceofthenotionthatprofessionalethics,ifitisnottobereducedtomeremoralprofessionalism,mustincludethequestionoftheplaceofthepracticeinthepractitionersownquesttoleadagoodlife.Inthenextchapter,wewillextendthisanalysisoftherelationofworkandourishingthroughanexaminationofMacIntyresconceptionofapractice.InthesubsequentchaptersofPartI,wewillturntoHannahArendt,JohnDewey,andHans-GeorgGadamertofurtherllinouranswertothequestionHowWorkandFlourishing WorkandFlourishing:WilliamsCritiqueofMoralityanditsImplicationsforProfessionalEthicsManyphilosophicalmistakesarewovenintomorality.Itmisunderstandsobligations,notseeinghowtheyformjustonetypeofethicalconsideration...[It]makespeoplethinkthatwithoutitsveryspecialobligation,thereisonlyinclination;withoutitsuttervoluntariness,thereisonlyforce;withoutitsultimatelypurejustice,thereisnojustice.Itsphilosophicalerrorsareonlythemostabstractexpressionsofadeeplyrootedandstillpowerfulmisconceptionoflife(BernardWilliams,1985,p.196).Muchcontemporarymoralphilosophy...hastendedtofocusonwhatitisrighttodoratherthanonwhatitisgoodtobe,ondeningthecontentofobligationratherthanthenatureofthegoodlife;andithasnoconceptualplaceleftforanotionofagoodastheobjectofourloveorallegiance...Somuchofmyeffort...willbetowardsenlargingourrangeoflegitimatemoraldescriptions,andinsomecasesofretrievingmodesofthoughtanddescriptionwhichhavemisguidedlybeenmadetoseemproblematic(Taylor,1989,p.3).INTRODUCTIONInordertounderstandprofessionalethics,werstneedtounderstandthenatureofethicsitself.Thisassertionseemsstraightforwardenough.Butwhatifwe,inmodernity,haveforgottenalargepartofwhatethicsis?Toputitmoreprecisely,whatifwehavecometomistakeonepartoftheethicalforthewhole?Couldwebesufferingfromanacutecaseofmoralmyopia?ItisthisveryideaadvancedbyWilliamsandTaylorwhotaketheirplaceinalongtradition.Intryingtohelpusseewhatapeculiarinstitutionmodernmoralityis,Williams(1985,p.174;cf.,1993[1972],p.9)echoesHegelscritiqueofKant(Hegel,1977[1807],pp.211409;Hegel,1991[1821],sections23),Nietzschescritiqueofslavemorality(e.g.Nietzsche,1969[1887]),andBradleysdefenceofMyStationanditsDuties(Bradley,1988[1876]).EvenintheAnglophone,analytictradition,thecritiqueofthemodern,moralTheGoodLifeofTeaching,FirstEdition.ChrisHiggins.2011ChrisHiggins.Published2011byBlackwellPublishingLtd. ofaclassofcategoricaldesiresandareversaloftheconventionalwisdomthatbeingaliveisaconditionofhavingdesires:Mostpeoplehavemanycategoricaldesires,whichdonotdependontheassumptionofthepersonsexistence,sincetheyservetopreventthatassumptionsbeingquestioned,ortoanswerthequestionifitisraised.Thusonespatternofinterests,desiresandprojectsnotonlyprovidethereasonforaninterestinwhathappenswithinthehorizonofonesfuture,butalsoconstitutetheconditionsoftherebeingsuchafutureatallCertaininterestsanddesiresdevelopinthecourseofleadingalifeandasaresultofexploringtheworld,buthereWilliamsremindsusofthetranscendentalfunctionofcareandconcern.AsJonathanLear,paraphrasingHeidegger,writes:Thefactthatwecare,then,isnotsimplyanimportantfactaboutwhatwearelike;itisastructuringconditionoftheuniverseofourpossibilities(Lear,2000,p.33).Thatsomedesiresservethistranscendentalfunctiondoesnotmakethemrareormysterious.WithhisconceptofthegroundprojectWilliamsshiftsfromtheleveloflogicalpossibilityandfunctiontothatofpsychologicalrealityanddetail.AsWilliamspointsout,itisnotuncommonforaman[to]have,foralotofhislifeorevenforsomepartofit,aprojectorsetofprojectswhicharecloselyrelatedtohisexistenceandwhichtoasignicantdegreegiveameaningtohislife(Williams,1981c,p.12).Thus,Williamsupbraidsmoralphilosophyforforgettingtotakeintoaccountthecrucialfactorofwhatmakeslifeworthliving,ofneglectingthequestionofwhywegoonatall(p.10).Itisthisbasicexistentialfactthatshowsthelimitsoftheidea(initsconsequentialistordeontologicalvariants)thatimpartialityisessentialtomorality.Williamsexplains:AmanwhohassuchagroundprojectwillberequiredbyUtilitarianismtogiveupwhatitrequiresinagivencasejustifthatconictswithwhatheisrequiredtodoasanimpersonalutility-maximizerwhenallthecausallyrelevantconsiderationsarein.Thatisaquiteabsurdrequirement.ButtheKantian,whocandoratherbetterthanthat,stillcannotdowellenough.Forimpartialmorality,iftheconictreallydoesarise,mustberequiredtowin.Andthatcannotnecessarilybeareasonabledemandontheagent.Therecancomeapointatwhichitisquiteunreasonableforamantogiveup,inthenameoftheimpartialgoodorderingoftheworldofmoralagents,somethingwhichisaconditionofhishavinganyinterestinbeingaroundinthatworldatall(p.14).Andyet,itispreciselythisideathatpartialitycouldbeofethicalimportancewhichmoralityndsimpossibletodigest.TheGoodLifeofTeaching servesasanicereminderthatworkinparticularguresprominentlyinPlatosdenitionofjustice.Justice,Socratestellshisinterlocutors,isdoingonesownwork,practicingthatforwhichheisnaturallybestsuited(Plato,2004,p.119[Bk.IV,433a]).Howonechoosestomakealiving,orevenwhatformsofworkonechooses(paidandunpaid)hardlyexhauststherangeofquestionsrelatingtoformativejustice.Butthattheyarecentralisnothardtosee.Still,someonemightobjectthatthoughallindividualsmustconfrontSocratesquestionandthoughtheirchoiceofworkisrelevanttothatquestion,suchextra-moral,existential-vocationalreectionisstillsomethingseparatefromprofessionalethics.TheskepticmightinsistthatafterworkIamfreetoreectonmycareerchoicesandanyotherexistentialquestionsasIplease,butduringworkImustworryaboutthemoralnormsguidingandconstrainingmypractice.Toheadoffthisobjection,weneedrsttorecalltworelatedpoints.First,ethicalreectionrequiresthatonetrytograsptheunityofhisorherlife.Second,thisispreciselywhatissodifcultinmodernity,whichworksinmyriadwaystoobscurethatunity.AsMacintyrehasnoted,partofwhatmakesmodernlifesoinhospitabletoeudaimonisticethicsisthewayitinvitesustocarveupourlivesintodevelopmentalstages,todivideourtimebetweenlabourandleisure,tohiveoffpublicrolesandprivateselves(MacIntyre,2007[1981],p.204).Withtheseremindersinhandwemaynowreadtheobjectionitselfasonemoreexampleofsuchpartitioning,inwhichtheagentisaskedtobemoralfrom9to5andethicalontheweekends,todevelopapublicmoralityandaprivateethics.Afterall,whileitisimportantthatitischoicetobeanengineer,lawyer,orsocialworker,thechoiceisnotjustaboutme.Whatmakesthechoiceagoodchoiceformeisinpartthewayitallowsmetojoinacommunityofpracticewhere,andperhapsonlywherecertainfeaturesofthegoodlifebecomevisibleandrealizable.Itisinthemidstofourcommunitiesofpracticethatwecanfullyrealizeandreckonwithwhatitmeanstothinkofanengineer,lawyer,orsocialworker.LetmeclosethispreliminarycasefortheethicalsignicanceofvocationbyreturningtoWilliamsandtakinguphisnotionofagroundproject.ItwasthisideathatpersonalprojectsplayedanimportantroleinethicsthathelpedWilliamslaunchhisassaultonmoralitysmonopolyinmodernethics.Personalprojectsareneithereetingandlowlyimpulses,norabstractandimpersonalprinciples,meanttoconstraintheformer.Rathertheyareaconcreteexpressionofanindividualsunderstandingofandattempttoleadanexcellentandmeaningfullife.Williamsargumentisthatmoralitymustbutcannotaccommodatethisideaofgroundprojects.TheargumentbeginswithathoughtexperimentconcerningwhatWilliamscallscategoricaldesires.asksustoimagineapersonrationallycontemplatingsuicide,inthefaceofsomepredictedevilwhononethelesschoosestogooninlife(Williams,1981c,p.11).Inthiscase,Williamsobserves,hemustbepropelledforwardinto[life]bysomedesire(howevergeneralorinchoate)(ibid.).ThissuggeststheexistenceWorkandFlourishing