Moral Distanciation: Modernity, Distance, and the Ethics of Care

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Ghandeharian, Sacha




This thesis undertakes a phenomenological investigation of the relationship between distance and politics. In the contemporary socio-political context, it is becoming ever more apparent that there are other, perhaps more alienating kinds of distance, apart from mere spatio-temporal distances. A feminist ethics of care reveals the ways that emotional-psychological distance can be detrimental to the meeting of human needs within socio-political life. Dominant, rationalist approaches to politics, which emphasize impartiality, objectivity, and universality, are not only ill-equipped to address
emotional-psychological distance; indeed, they exacerbate this kind of distancing through the structure of moral reasoning on which they rely. Notions of ‘common humanity’ – central to universal-rationalist approaches, and requiring the establishment of a public/private boundary – intensifies this emotional-psychological distancing from others in the effort to bridge the spatio-temporal gaps between distant individuals, and impersonally mediate relations between the multiplicity of proximate strangers in modern metropolitan environments.


Political science




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Political Science

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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