Routledge – 2013 – 128 pages
Series: Thinking in Action
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.
"This is an insightful, lively, and entertaining study of loyalty. It offers a thorough overview of the philosophical questions that loyalty raises and a compelling picture of the loyalty's place in the lives of individuals and political communities." – Simon Keller, Victoria University, New Zealand
Introduction 1. Loyal Action, Loyal Thought 2. Loyalty’s Unavoidable Dilemmas 3. Loyalty, Tribalism, Violence 4. Loyalty, Community, and Morality Conclusion. Index
Troy Jollimore is Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Chico, USA. He is the author of Love’s Vision, and of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning book of poetry, Tom Thomson in Purgatory. His essays and book reviews have appeared in Boston Review, Wilson Quarterly, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.