Literature and Moral Change: Rupture, Universality and Self-Understanding

  • Nora HämäläinenEmail author


Moral change in a historical perspective is a prominent theme in narrative literature, but this dimension of our moral lives has been left in the shade of what I call a context sensitive universalism that guides the mainstream of moral philosophical readings of literature after Nussbaum, Murdoch, Diamond and Cavell among others. Focalizing Robert Pippin’s reading of Henry James’s The Wings of the Dove, this paper addresses literature as a place for philosophical exploration of the historicity of morality, and argues for making more space for the facticity of change in ethics and ethical readings of literature, not least as a necessary prerequisite for both individual and collective moral self-understanding.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Ethics as Study in Human ValueUniversity of PardubicePardubiceCzech Republic

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