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Frank G. Kirkpatrick

Persons in Relation is the second book published from John Macmurray's 1953–54 Gifford Lectures, delivered at the University of Glasgow under the title “The Form of the Personal.” The first volume was The Self as Agent, first published in 1957 and reissued in 1991 by Humanities Press. Persons in Relation was not published until 1961.

The Gifford Lectures on natural theology are among the most prestigious in the world. The invitation to deliver them usually goes to distinguished scholars toward the end of their careers. The occasion is often one on which the lecturer sums up his life's work. In accepting the invitation for 1953–54, Macmurray joined a long line of major philosophers that had included, in the early 1920s, Alfred North Whitehead, whose metaphysical scheme Macmurray's “form of the personal” rivals, though with far less complexity. In fact, it is written in such a straightforward and simple style as to have apparently persuaded many professional philosophers at the time that it contained little in the way of a comprehensive metaphysics and little that would advance the contemporary debates in philosophy at mid-century. It is true that as Macmurray worked out the details of the Gifford Lectures, he did not so much break new ground in his own thought as he summarized the work of a lifetime. Nevertheless, he believed that this particular expression of his thought and its contribution to philosophy were still in the nature of what he called “a preliminary and tentative reconnaissance.”1 He seemed to know that the overriding philosophical project of his life had not yet found the reception he had hoped for from either the philosophical community, which was then in the grip of narrowly focused analyses of language, or the religious community, which was caught between the fideism of Karl Barth and the existentialism of Paul Tillich.

The published volumes of the Gifford Lectures were among the last of Macmurray's life and culminated a forty-five-year period of published articles and books that began with an essay on art for a journal in philosophy in 1925 and ended with the publication in 1965 of his only semiautobiographical book, Search for Reality in Religion (the Swarthmore Lectures of 1965) and, just prior to his death in 1976 at age 85, a short essay published by the Friends Home Service Committee on The Philosophy of Jesus (1973). Over that forty-five-year period Macmurray wrote philosophical articles in professional journals on such subjects as action, epistemology, linguistic analysis, phenomenology, and political philosophy; religious reflections on freedom, sexual ethics, the nature of religious experience, and Jesus; reflections on education and the university; a whole series of works on the relation between religion and Marxism/ communism, including occasional pieces for the Christian Left on events in the Soviet Union; analyses of the economic situation in post-Second World War England; major books on the relation of religion, science, and art, the boundaries of psychology, the meaning of God's action in the world as found in the Bible, reason and emotion, freedom in the modern world, the epistemologies of physics, biology, and psychology, the nature of religious experience, democracy, communism, and fascism; and, of course, the Gifford Lectures summarizing the form of the personal.

Despite the diversity of forums through which Macmurray expressed his philosophy (which included broadcasts on the BBC as well as many popular lectures and pieces in the commercial press in England), at the heart of all his work was his attempt to reverse modern philosophy's commitment to an “egocentric” starting point, by which he meant the self understood primarily as thinker withdrawn from action and participation in the world. Long before the term became common, Macmurray was a “postmodern thinker” in the sense that he believed modern philosophy since Descartes had been dedicated to the proposition that the self not only thinks of itself as essentially characterized through its reflective or cognitive activity, but also understands itself, as a result, to be essentially isolated from the world about which it reflects.2

From this starting point, Macmurray argues, all relations with Other persons necessarily become problematical. If the self is primarily a thinker, then the existence of other persons as beings with whom one is in relationship at something other than a theoretical level becomes primarily and essentially a problem for thought. They become objects to be known rather than persons whom one already knows because one is immersed in complex forms of relationship3 with them that go far beyond the cognitive relation of thinker to object of thought. While rejecting much of contemporary postmodernist infatuation with subjectivism and deconstruction, Macmurray's post-modernism was an attempt to reestablish our knowledge of other persons in the immediacy of the lived experience of personal relationships that make it whole.

He did not reject the work of philosophy as a reflective activity. Instead, he tried to recast its role in the service of more fulfilling and more basic personal communion with others, with the world, and, ultimately, with God. Philosophy, by rethinking its starting point, would be able to articulate the essence of the self as an agent in action, rather than a thinker in thought. Thinking would become one activity among many,4 an activity withdrawn from fuller forms of practical action and interaction with real “others.” The purpose of thinking would become one of conceptually clarifying the appropriate relation between thought and action and providing the “eyes” for action. To the extent that it was successful, thinking would guide action toward more effective fulfillment of its intentions, especially those having to do with relations with other persons. In this respect, while sharing a common starting point with many post-modernists, Macmurray decisively departs from them in his conviction that there are ultimate values and objective realities that must be understood and integrated into action if human life is to be as fulfilling as it is capable of being.

By developing the form of the personal Macmurray intended to end “the solitariness of the thinking self, [to set] man firmly in the world which he knows, and so [to restore] him to his proper existence as a community of persons in relation.… to show how the personal relation of persons is constitutive of personal existence.”5 At the heart of this project was Macmurray's conviction that by reversing the priority of thought over action, one would arrive at the truth that, as he said in The Self as Agent, “All meaningful knowledge is for the sake of action, and all meaningful action for the sake of friendship.”6 And friendship, for Macmurray, meant community, the fullest possible form of relationship between persons, fulfilling each and every participant to the greatest possible degree. In truth, it can be said that his philosophy is really a philosophy of community, a term now much in vogue in contemporary philosophy as well as in religious thought. The rising interest in community is a reflection of the felt need to turn away from the alienation of the self inherent in self-centered thinking and toward some form of mutuality and companionship with others, including, for many, the whole environmental, global context in which persons live.

This concern for community, or persons in relation, has become one of the major preoccupations of many of the cutting-edge debates in contemporary philosophy and religion. It is the informing image behind one of the most popular historical/sociological critiques of contemporary American society, Robert Bellah, et al., Habits of the Heart.7 It can be found at the center of the current debate in many philosophical and political science journals regarding the merits of what has been called liberalism (or individualism) versus communitarianism. It is inspiring new directions in moral theory, both within philosophical and religious circles. It is very much at the heart of feminist theological and philosophical critiques of what feminism regards as male-inspired individualism and autonomy based upon the exercise of physical force. It seems to be an element in the rethinking of post Marxist democratic socialism in the wake of the collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and its decline in the Soviet Union. It is present in new ways of thinking about the underlying themes of the Bible as being constituted by the search for community. And it has decisively informed the most important metaphysical alternative to traditional modernist thinking, the process philosophy based on the work of Alfred North Whitehead.

Except for Whitehead's sweeping vision set forth in the dense and often cryptic Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology8 and Macmurray's “form of the personal,” all the approaches to the issue of community are characterized by somewhat narrow, specialized foci. Part of the legacy of modernism has been a suspicion of grandiose metaphysical system-building. For decades philosophy had been degenerating into ever-more-deatailed analyses of language as a more accurate (and conceptually safer) way of articulating “truth” than the premodern tendency to try to capture all of reality in and through metaphysically comprehensive concepts. Only with the growing realization that analytic philosophy was becoming increasingly sterile and unrelated to the wholeness of actual experience in which even philosophers participated did there emerge a renewed interest in metaphysics. Macmurray's form of the personal speaks directly to this new interest.

Process Philosophy and the Overcoming of Dualism

The rediscovery in the 1960s of Whitehead's work, the bulk of which had been published before the end of the 1920s, was due to the dissatisfaction many felt with the fragmented, piecemeal, tatterdemalion of unconnected thoughts that linguistic analysis had produced. Whitehead had identified the source of the modernist problem (even before most philosophers acknowledged that it was a problem) as the cognitive dualism or “bifurcation” between parts of reality such as thought and action. This dualism could never be overcome, claimed Whitehead, until philosophy adopted a standpoint from which all of reality could be seen as a single, organic, interdependent, and interrelated whole. Whitehead introduced into much of contemporary philosophy a complex, deep, comprehensive, and often obscurely articulated feeling for community, the union of the many into one.

Macmurray accepts the metaphysical impulse, as had Whitehead, but he tries to articulate its fulfillment in different, though sympathetic and occasionally compatible, controlling images than those used by Whitehead (for example, action instead of process, persons in mutual relation instead of organs functionally interdependent within an organism). While Macmurray's criticism of process philosophy is muted and indirect, its underlying premise is that the process model of reality cannot satisfactorily account for the uniqueness of the initiating and controlling intention behind those movements (acts) that only agents are able to perform and that do not occur at the level of organisms. Process philosophers would argue that the insistence on the uniqueness of an agent's intention tends to fall back into dualism. Macmurray would argue that process thought has chosen the wrong initial controlling model (organism) for understanding the unity of reality through agency.9 While there is enormous potential in exploring the more precise parallels and divergences between the form of the personal and process philosophy, the fact is that both are driven by their own vision of the need to reestablish a sense of the metaphysical and ontological ultimacy of community. And given that both are committed to the metaphysical enterprise, there is much to be said for a new conversation between Macmurray and process thought.

Individualism and Community in Contemporary Society

A perennial theme in American history has been the tension between the pursuit of individual autonomy and a commitment to the common good. The American belief in individualism is shaped by the political philosophy of John Locke and the economic philosophy of Adam Smith, in both of which the individual pursues primarily his or her own self-interest and society emerges as the necessary evil that controls the worst excesses of the multitude of self-seekers clashing with each other. A commitment to the common good, which stands opposed to individualism, is shaped by the religious philosophy of the Jewish and Christian traditions and the political philosophy of republicanism, in both of which the individual often chooses to subordinate his or her own interests in order that the community might prosper. The tension between the pursuit of self-interest and a concern for the larger community was articulated with extraordinary clarity by Alexis de Tocqueville in the 1830s in his Democracy in America.10 There he noted the essence of American individualism as a “calm and considered feeling which disposes each citizen to isolate himself from the mass of his fellows and [to] withdraw into the circle of family and friends; with this little society formed to his taste, he gladly leaves the greater society to look after itself.”11 Recently a number of commentators, represented by Robert Bellah and his colleagues in their revisitation of Tocqueville in Habits of the Heart, have expressed their concern that this kind of individualism “may have grown cancerous—that it may be destroying those social integuments that Tocqueville saw as moderating its more destructive potentialities, that it may be threatening the survival of freedom itself.”12 The traditional American emphasis on self-reliance “has led to the notion of pure, undetermined choice, free of tradition, obligation, or commitment, as the essence of the self.”13 This essentially modernist, Cartesian self tries to become radically unencumbered by freeing itself from confining and restraining ties to anything or anyone that it has not itself freely chosen to relate to.

While Bellah and his colleagues are not particularly interested in a metaphysical or theological framework into which to put their alternative to radical individualism, it is clear to them that it will be constituted by some form of community. Their term of choice is a “community of memory.”14 These communities have a history, a set of stories and traditions into which they initiate the new members. These stories and traditions “carry a context of meaning that can allow us to connect our aspirations for ourselves and those closest to us with the aspirations of a larger whole and see our own efforts as being, in part, contributions to a common good.”15

In many ways Bellah's vision of communities of memory echoes Macmurray's notion of fellowship and friendship. Bellah seems to be reaching for a larger, more comprehensive notion of community but his sociological focus limits him to an analysis of specific, and often local, communities, whose relation to the larger human community is obscure. Nevertheless, there is much in Macmurray's working out of the essential elements of the full mutuality of persons in relation that would supplement and deepen the work of Bellah and those who are as troubled as he is by the insidious effects of radical individualism in American life.

The Ethics of Virtue and Tradition

Bellah's work is paralleled and supplemented by new emphases in moral philosophy on the importance of community and tradition, on what might be called the positive dimensions of the “encumbered” as opposed to the radically individualist self. Alasdair MacIntyre,16 for example, laments what he calls the “emotivist” or “democratized” self (the modern Cartesian self that is its own source of valuation, without criteria or objective grounding), because it has “no necessary social content and no necessary social identity… no rational history in its transitions from one state of moral commitment to another.”17 This self winds up having “a certain abstract and ghostly character.”18 For MacIntyre the only alternative to such a sterile isolationism is a recovery of the social virtues that ultimately constitute what is good for the fulfilling human life (and that are not simply to be created out of whole cloth by radically autonomous individuals making their choices essentially independent of each other). Now these virtues are inseparable from some form of human community that is, in turn, shaped by and grounded in the vitalities of a living community with operative traditions and historical memories. This community fulfills and completes the life of that self who, without community, would be alienated, isolated, lonely, and valueless. This is exactly the claim that Macmurray made in Persons in Relation when he argued that the individual can only become fully real (that is, realize his or her full potential) within the mutuality of a community in which “each cares for all the others and no one for himself.”19

The Liberalism/Communitarianism Debate

The relevance of community may be nowhere more present than within the debate between liberalism and communitarianism now swirling through the academy of moral and political philosophers. In its simplest terms it is a dispute concerning “the relative merits of private, hedonistic, consumption-oriented lives and lives involving such ‘communal’ elements as civic participation, shared experience, and fraternal concern.”20 At its heart is the question of how the human self is morally constituted: is the individual morally prior to the community that he or she chooses (or rejects), or is the individual to some important extent a moral product of his or her community, with all its traditions and encumbrances? In the liberal, or individualist view, the moral agent appears before society and, alone with his or her Cartesian rationality, determines what constitutes the good. Society is then formed in order to permit the greatest possible latitude for other free selves to choose their own conceptions of the good with the least amount of interference from others. In this view, there is no objective and universally valid conception of human nature as such, except as a being who chooses. Even if one chooses to relate to others, that choice is not made on the basis of something intrinsic to human nature that requires fulfillment in loving and being loved by others. In the words of one of liberalism's critics, “we are barren subjects of possession first, and then we choose the ends we would possess.”21

The criticism of liberalism argues that it is naive in not sufficiently appreciating the degree to which human beings really are constituted communally prior to their withdrawal into rational reflection. There are, the communitarians insist, values (virtues) and objective realities to which the self must conform if it is to be harmonious with and fulfilling of its deepest reality. Individuals are made for relationship and any individually chosen values that negate or undermine personal relationship are out of touch with the inner reality of the self and with objective reality as such. At the present much of the communitarian/liberalist debate revolves around the epistemological questions of how one grounds or knows what is or is not the nature of the self as chooser of ends. Where Macmurray's work would begin to make a contribution to the discussion is where it begins to appreciate the need for a metaphysical context into which to place the nature of the self in relation to reality as such and to God. Part of this search is trying to determine just what kind of community is most fully harmonious with the person-in-relation. As it turns out, there are many different conceptions of community implicit in much of the communitarian literature, and many of them are rather indistinct and undeveloped, perhaps even incompatible with each other. It is often argued that persons are communal, but what the exact forms of community are or ought to be is usually left obscure. Macmurray's more developed work on persons in relation, especially as it works out the nature of friendship, fellowship, and mutuality within a “personal” universe, could make a major contribution at this point.

Feminist Thought and Community

This is also true, though to a lesser extent, for the work of a number of feminist scholars who are trying to resurrect images of mutuality and interdependence that they claim are more reflective of women's experience than of men's. Their criticism of male-dominated societies and forms of thought is aimed at the same individualistic assumptions about human selves and their relations with each other that one finds in liberal societies. These societies, feminists argue, have put a premium on the negative exercise of power as a way for autonomous, self-reliant individuals to protect themselves from the self-interested actions of others aimed at defeating potential competitors for scarce goods. In the societies that emerge from this individualistic understanding, women have historically been subordinated since they do not wield the kind of overt, dominating power that men have been able to exercise through physical prowess. Women nurture and reconcile; men compete and vanquish. As a result many feminists are exploring the nature of communities in which caring, compassion, nurturing, reconciling, and simply being in relations of mutual interdependence prevail. Some feminist scholars in the field of moral philosophy have even argued that traditional forms of morality, such as Kantianism, have placed a premium upon male-centered criteria of moral maturity. Carol Gilligan, for example, has argued that men evaluate moral thinking by its ability to create hard-and-fast rules, objectively and impartially imposed, for determining the rightness of amoral act.22 Women, she argues, are much more likely to transcend such objectively neutral (and impersonal) forms of moral judgment in favor of empathy and sense of connection with the one being judged. Interestingly, Gilligan draws heavily upon the relationship between child and parent, just as Macmurray does in the second chapter of Persons in Relation.23 She argues that the “capacity for engagement with others—for compassion and for response to another's pleasure and distress has been observed in early childhood” but is not represented in traditional Kantian accounts of human moral development because it is at odds with the prevailing concept of the self as rationally autonomous and self-sufficient.24 Gilligan wants to replace this concept with one in which the “values of care and connection, salient in women's thinking, imply a view of the self and the other as interdependent and of relationships as networks created and sustained by attention and response.”25 This is a vision very much at the heart of Macmurray's own work on persons in relation. It leads Gilligan, as it had Macmurray, to claim, against the dominant view of the self and its relations, that being dependent on others in a relationship of mutuality does not mean being helpless and powerless. Rather it means, as Macmurray suggested in his development of the notion of heterocentrism, that, in Gilligan's words, “one is able to have an effect on others, as well as the recognition that interdependence of attachment empowers both the self and the other, not one at the other's expense.”26

Post-Marxist Thinking about Community

Macmurray had been quite interested in the thought of Karl Marx's early, more humanistic writings. He based much of his writing about communism and Marxism in the 1930s on this aspect of Marx's work. Later he became very critical of the Marxist experiment in the Soviet Union, believing it had betrayed much of the vision of the early Marx. He also was convinced that Marx had fundamentally misunderstood both Judaism and Christianity and the positive role they could play in shaping a just and humane society (though he admitted much of organized religion had contributed to that misunderstanding by its betrayal of its own Biblical insights). In addition, he believed that Marx was too tied to the organic/functional model of human relationships to have seen the potential for and the superiority of his own personal model, which subsumed (in Hegelian/Marxist fashion) both the mechanical and the organic models of relationship. To the extent that we are now seeing the end of Marxism in its most virulent form, as it had become associated with totalitarian, nondemocratic political systems, there may be some revival of interest in those parts of Marx that preceded (and some say remained alive if implicit in) his later, more strictly economic works. Macmurray always rejected the deterministic Marx, though he appreciated his materialism in the sense that he believed matter was part of the human condition and demanded appropriate moral attention (which he felt could be amply found in the Biblical narratives of God's intentions being worked out in the material world). As Marxism's alliance with nondemocratic, materialistic systems comes to an end in much of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, Macmurray's insights into the relation between socialist ideals and democratic capitalism may well become relevant again. And at the heart of those insights is Macmurray's transcending vision of what a human community of persons in relation can be through human cooperation with the intention of God for a universal community. But Macmurray's work on community goes beyond political and economic engineering. It speaks to the intimacies and subtleties of the deepest kinds of personal mutuality and, in so doing, remains transcendent of (while integrally tied to) political and economic institutions.

The Biblical Call to Community

Macmurray's philosophy was an attempt to spell out the nature of what he often called “friendship” or “fellowship.” It involved such things as mutuality, love, heterocentrism, compassion, and sharing. It was, ultimately, constituted by the sheer delight of simply being with and for other persons.

In making that claim Macmurray captures something much closer to a Biblical and Christian view than one can find in the areligious references of political and moral philosophy. While not a conventional believer (he had rejected church membership until late in life, when he joined the noninstitutional Friends), Macmurray remained profoundly religious and always sought to place his notion of community in the context of a Biblical view of God's intention to create community through divine acts that sought human cooperation in the world.27 Recently, the Biblical emphasis on the building of community has been remarkably demonstrated by Harvard scholar Paul D. Hanson in his majestic The People Called: The Growth of Community in the Bible.28 Hanson has organized the Biblical narrative around the unifying theme of a community of faith “unfolding in response to and as participant in the creative, redemptive acts of God on behalf of all creation.”29 God's purpose, through all God's acts, has been the creation of a loving human fellowship. This fellowship is the fulfillment of all that God intended in the creation of life itself.

Naturally, the universal community God intends will take shape in history along the way toward its final realization as specific communities with specific traditions and memories. Here the link with the work of MacIntyre and Bellah in calling for a return to communities of memory becomes compelling. The specific religious communities that emerge in response to the Biblical narratives carry the meaning of and point toward the work of God in history.30 These communities proclaim themselves to be “the truest possible for human community”31 because they live out, ideally, the reality of responding to God's acts in history as told in the stories of the Bible and the shared memories of those people living in and from the Biblical tradition. In a very real way I think this is the vision Macmurray also shared. He was committed to the claim that God was at work in history and that God had created the ontological structures of reality such that, in the end, if we conformed ourselves to them, a universal community would come into existence. Reality is ultimately personal and a personal God is the ultimate reality.32

In the end, Macmurray's work, and especially Persons in Relation, provides the metaphysical grounding for a religious view of reality in the context of God's actions in history. It makes contact at any number of points with Biblical scholarship and attempts at developing living religious communities. While it also shares a great deal in common with the work of political, moral, feminist, metaphysical, and sociological scholars, at its most profound it is squarely rooted in a religious vision of reality as constituted by a universal community of “persons in relation.”

  • 1. John Macmurray. Persons in Relation (London: Faber & Faber Limited, 1961; reprint, Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, Inc., 1991), p. 13.
  • 2. Interestingly, Macmurray devotes a great deal of attention to the work of Immanuel Kant, the quintessential modernist thinker, to whose work a great deal of contemporary philosophy is also directed for essentially the same reason.
  • 3. Macmurray called the kind of knowledge that is present in such relationships the knowledge of “immediate experience.” It is prior to theoretical knowledge and is characterized by unity, completeness, and feeling, all fused into a single whole. He worked out the first development of this notion in his first book, Interpreting the Universe (London: Faber & Faber, 1933).
  • 4. Macmurray often called it a “negative activity,” meaning that it occurred only as the self drew back from the more comprehensive activity of full personal engagement (immediate experience) with the world.
  • 5. Macmurray, Persons in Relation, p. 12.
  • 6. John Macmurray, The Self as Agent (London: Faber & Faber Limited, 1957; reprint, Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, Inc., 1991), p. 15. For a fuller development of Macmurray's notion of community, in particular how it relates to contemporary philosophies such as individualism, Marxism, process thought, systems philosophy, and recent Christian thinking about communities of agape or koinonia, see my own Community: A Trinity of Models (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1986).
  • 7. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986).
  • 8. Corrected edition, edited by David Ray Griffin and Donald W. Sherburne (New York: Free Press, 1978).
  • 9. Macmurray early on developed a fairly elaborate tripartite schema for interpreting reality in Interpreting the Universe, in which he subordinated two less than inclusive models of reality (the mechanical, material, or atomistic and the organic or functional) to a third, most-inclusive model, that of persons in relation. The fullest expression of this latter model is, of course, to be found in Persons in Relation.
  • 10. Translated by George Lawrence, ed., J. P. Mayer (New York: Doubleday, Anchor Books, 1969).
  • 11. Ibid., 506.
  • 12. Bellah, et al., Habits of the Heart, p. viii.
  • 13. Ibid., 152.
  • 14. Ibid.
  • 15. Ibid., 153.
  • 16. See especially his After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981).
  • 17. Ibid., pp. 30–31.
  • 18. Ibid., 31
  • 19. Macmurray. Persons in Relation, p. 159. This approach to relationship, in which the other person is the primary center of my attention (and I of his), Macmurray calls “heterocentrism,” to contrast it to the egocentrism characteristic of individualism.
  • 20. George Sher, “Three Grades of Social Involvement,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 18 (Spring 1989), p. 133.
  • 21. Michael J. Sandel, Liberalism and Limits of Justice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), p. 133.
  • 22. In a Different Voice Psychological Theory and Women's Development (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982).
  • 23. This reliance upon parent child relationship as an indicator of and basis for moral virtue is also present in the work of Laurence Thomas, who develops a strong case for altruism, or other-directed morality, as more basic than one that assumes the primacy of self-interest. Self-love, he argues, follows from being loved by others, especially our parents. Only through the “realized capacity to love” is life itself “just that much richer.” Laurence Thomas, Living Morally: A Psychology of Moral Character (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1989), p. 195.
  • 24. Carol Gilligan, “Remapping the Moral Domain: New Images of the Self in Relationship,” in Reconstructing Individualism: Autonomy, Individuality, and the Self in Western Thought, ed. Thomas C. Heller, Morton Sosna, and David E. Wellbery. (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1986), p. 240.
  • 25. Ibid., 242.
  • 26. Nell Noddings develops this idea in her book Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984). Noddings argues for an ethic of caring, in which one is both served and serves through the caring relationship. In caring one becomes joyful. One is both able to sacrifice for others and to receive their sacrifices for oneself so that a community of mutual joy is built up. This, too, is a central insight of much of Macmurray's work on mutuality.
  • 27. This is spelled out in compelling detail in his The Clue to History (London: Student Christian Movement Press, 1938).
  • 28. (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1986).
  • 29. Ibid., 522.
  • 30. See especially Stanley Hauerwas, A Community of Character: Toward a Constructive Christian Ethic (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981).
  • 31. Ibid., p. 2.
  • 32. Macmurray, Persons in Relation, p. 224.
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