Reason and Emotion in International Ethics

Reason and Emotion in International Ethics

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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, Renee 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 more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139990233
  • 9781139990233

Table of contents

1. Ethics, emotions, and the human brain; 2. Rationalist cosmopolitan solutions to the problem of world poverty; 3. Moral sentiment theory; 4. The demise of moral sentiment theory; 5. What is an emotion?; 6. Moral judgment after neuroscience; 7. A sentimental more

About Renee Jeffery

Renee Jeffery is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the Australian National University. She is the author of Amnesty and Accountability: Persistence and Change from Athens to Aceh, Indonesia (2014), Evil and International Relations: Human Suffering in an Age of Terror (2008) and Hugo Grotius in International Thought (2006), and the editor of Confronting Evil in International Relations: Ethical Responses to Problems of Moral Agency (2008) and, with Hun Joon Kim, Transitional Justice in the Asia-Pacific (Cambridge University Press, 2013).show more

Review quote

'This innovative book establishes the foundation for what could be called 'sentimentalist cosmopolitanism'. Challenging the rationalist assumptions that underpin much of cosmopolitan thought, Renee Jeffery convincingly argues that reason and emotion are intrinsically linked as well as essential to both decision making and ethical judgement.' Roland Bleiker, University of Queensland 'Renee Jeffery has both recovered a long lost emotional underpinning to international ethics - in Hume and other sentimentalist scholarship - and with her perceptive analysis and arguments, offered insights that may reinvigorate debates about justice and inequality. This is a rich and interesting book that just might help us make the world a better place.' Neta Crawford, Boston University 'Jeffery's book is clear and readable, and some sections may be appropriate for advanced undergraduates ... it will appeal mostly to scholars and graduate students with an interest in ethics and global poverty.' M. W. Sontag, Choice 'It essential reading for scholars concerned with questions of ethics or motions within International Relations, as well as the intersections between the natural and the social sciences.' K. M. Fierke, International Studies Reviewshow more

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