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I begin with a puzzle: analysis of moral choice during the Holocaust locates the drive toward morality not in traditional explanations-such as religion, duty or reason-but in identity. This empirical anomaly suggests a gap in the literature on ethics. I thus developed a theory explaining morality through identity, focusing on the human capacity for intersubjective communication and the need to distinguish boundaries via categorization. Psychological studies on self-esteem and the need for consistent behavior and linguistic and psychoanalytic work on categorization suggest people do categorize and that such categorization is a universal of human nature. Once people create categories, furthermore, they feel they must accord equal treatment to all members within that class. This suggests the drive toward morality emanates in human psychology and that we must honor the humanity of others in order to claim it in ourselves.
Kristen Renwick Monroe
What happens when our identity gets to zero? 22-May-2020