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Unbecoming SubjectsJudith Butler, Moral Philosophy, and Critical Responsibility$
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Annika Thiem

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228980

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228980.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Unbecoming Subjects

Annika Thiem

Fordham University Press

Living with others as people do, this question also means how to live well given the social circumstances people find themselves in. Moral and ethical codes as part of social codes of conduct do not always make life more livable; they can also be socially restrictive. Moral conduct cannot be reduced to what one owes another, to duties and obligations, and also not to virtues, which can have equally restraining effects. These dilemmas of knowing how to respond and what to do are also difficult because of the complexity of the societies that people live in. In the face of challenges, hopes for moral certainty and for individual agency to change the world very quickly retreat into either defeatism or dogmatism.

Keywords:   social circumstances, ethical codes, codes of conduct, moral conduct, society, dogmatism, defeatism, moral certainty, individual agency

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