It’s natural to think of acts of solidarity as being public acts that aim at good outcomes, particularly at social change. I argue that not all acts of solidarity fit this mold - acts of what I call ‘private solidarity’ are not public and do not aim at producing social change. After describing paradigmatic cases of private solidarity, I defend an account of why such acts are themselves morally virtuous and what role they can have in moral development.
KeywordsSolidarity Virtue Virtuous Private Moral development Simone Weil
This paper was written while under the support of a Bersoff Fellowship at New York University. A draft of it was presented as a lunchtime talk at the NYU Philosophy Department and benefitted from many helpful comments there. Special thanks to Julia Driver, Chelsea Rosenthal, Neil Williams, and Alex King for discussing these ideas with me. Thanks also to Anna Bialek for introducing me to the life and work of Simone Weil. Finally, I also received very helpful comments from two anonymous referees for Ethical Theory and Moral Practice.
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