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Who Is My Neighbour? Understanding Indifference as a Vice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 July 2014


Indifference is often described as a vice. Yet who is indifferent; to what; and in what way is poorly understood, and frequently subject to controversy and confusion. This paper proposes a framework for the interpretation and analysis of ethically problematic forms of indifference in terms of how different states of indifference can be either more or less dynamic, or more or less sensitive to the nature and state of their object.

Research Article
Copyright © The Royal Institute of Philosophy 2014 

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24 I am grateful to Harry Adamson, Maike Albertzart, Matt Candea, Mark Hanin, Jane Heal, Caroline Humphrey, James Laidlaw, Michael Hertzfeld, Jonathan Mair, Adam Morton, Lubomira Radoilska and the Editor of Philosophy for comments and discussion of issues addressed in this paper. I also thank audiences at the Cambridge University Social Anthropology Society and at the University of Hertfordshire. Finally, I thank Churchill College, Cambridge, for the Senior Research Fellowship during the tenure of which much of this paper was written.