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October 11 , 2008

On Loyalty


Loyalty is a highly charged and important issue, often evoking strong feelings and actions. What is loyalty? Is loyalty compatible with impartiality? How do we respond to conflicts of loyalties? In a global era, should we be trying to transcend loyalties to particular political communities?

Drawing on a fascinating array of literary and cinematic examples - The Remains of the Day, No Country for Old Men, The English Patient, The Third Man, and more - Troy Jollimore expertly unravels the phenomenon of loyalty from a philosophical standpoint. He reflects on the idea that loyalty shapes our very identities, and considers both the benefits and the dangers of loyalty: on the one hand, how excessive loyalty can move us to perform immoral, even evil actions; one the other, how loyalty can expand our lives and give us a sense of meaning and belonging.

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