Mathew A. Foust

in Loyalty to Loyalty

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242696
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823242733 | DOI:

Series: American Philosophy (FUP)


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Having focused in previous chapters on the nature of loyalty, this chapter discusses the nature of disloyalty. Such a discussion is prompted by the introduction of the notion of the “loyal traitor” in the previous chapter. The viability of at once being loyal and disloyal suggests the insufficiency of a pat conception of disloyalty as the antonym of loyalty. In addition to proposing necessary and sufficient conditions for an act to be characterized as one of disloyalty, the account of disloyalty articulated in this chapter includes phenomenological descriptions of disloyalty as experienced by both the betrayer and the betrayed. These descriptions more clearly illustrate what occurs when disloyalty is afoot and highlight the need for betrayer and betrayed to confront disloyalty as a problematic situation to be dealt with, and if possible, overcome. The chapter then argues for the mutual value of atonement, for betrayer and betrayed, in the wake of disloyalty. At the same time, a description is given of the conditions under which it is appropriate to forgo atonement and detach oneself from a cause maligned by disloyalty.

Keywords: Atonement; Community; Disloyalty; Ethics; Loyalty; Morality; Traitor/Treason; Virtue/Virtue Ethics

Chapter.  9143 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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