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Ethical Perspectives


Desmond: Talking to Richard on the way over, I proposed that our discussion would focus on the theme of autonomy and embeddedness or relatedness. This is a recurrent concern in all of Richard’s writing. I thought it would be a good idea to look at this issue of autonomy and embeddedness in a variety of different forms, in relation to different philosophers that have influenced the work of Richard, but also in a variety of different domains such as ethics, aesthetics or literature, romanticism. In the latter the question of the interplay between art and religion also comes up as a very important consideration. Another central theme in Richard’s work is the tension between aspiration and disappointment, between longing and the failure to reach a desired completion. Disappointment and the fact of failure are not, I would say, absolutized. Disappointment becomes the occasion of a possible renewal of striving or aspiration rather than marking a sceptical outcome in a merely negative sense.


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