Article Title

Dislocation and Self-Certainty: Remarks on Disorientation and Moral Life


This article summarizes Ami Harbin’s 2016 monograph, Disorientation and Moral Life, which argues that disorientations are an invaluable ethical resource. Harbin offers what she calls a “non-resolvist account of moral agency,” in which non-deliberative and non-decisive action has the potential to be just as morally significant as fully thought-through and conclusive decision-making. It then suggests that Harbin’s moral method provides a useful way of thinking through political inequities in the discipline of Philosophy, and illustrates this with some examples. It highlights three lacunae or possible extensions to the argument: the value but also the complexity of understanding “doubling back” strategies; the ambivalence between psychological and philosophical claims about the value of irresoluteness and the paradoxical nature of being certain of the value of moral uncertainty; and the spatial, temporal, and embodied nature of disorientation.

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