Dirty hands and suffering

Journal article


Tillyris, D. 2019. Dirty hands and suffering. Theoria. 66 (160), pp. 95-121. https://doi.org/10.3167/th.2019.6616006
AuthorsTillyris, D.
Abstract

Contra the prevalent way of thinking about the dirty-hands problem, this article suggests that dirty hands need not necessarily entail suffering and that a politician who does not suffer for his dirty-handed acts should not be cast as a bad politician. In so doing, the article: (i) argues that the connection between DH and suffering is unsatisfactorily totalising and rests on a contentious conception of conflict as a dysfunction and (ii) develops an alternative account of the good dirty-handed politician, which is associated with what proponents of the prevalent view of the problem find impossible: calm acceptance of – even indulgence in – one’s dirt. This recognition has important implications for our contemporary culture of contrition and for the way we evaluate the characters of our politicians.

Keywordsdirty hands, moral conflict, public ethics, suffering, value pluralism
Year2019
JournalTheoria
Journal citation66 (160), pp. 95-121
PublisherBerghahn Journals
ISSN0040-5817
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3167/th.2019.6616006
Related URLhttps://www.berghahnjournals.com/view/journals/theoria/theoria-overview.xml
Publication dates
Print01 Sep 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Jul 2019
Accepted13 Jul 2019
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
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ContributorsTillyris, D.
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