Volume 36, 2020
Home: Sanctuary, Shelter, and Justice
Making, Remaking, and Unmaking Moral Community
I argue for a conception of moral community as “ethical home,” in which home is a hybrid public and private concept, cohered through members’ complicit participation in the formation and endorsement of the community’s values and practices. In this essay I present and defend three premises that comprise my argument for this conception of moral community as an ethical home. First, I make a case for why “home” is an apt conception of moral community, defining the features of home relevant to my claim, and clarifying which connotations of home I am abandoning by modifying home to be an “ethical” home. Second, I illustrate how when the concept of moral community is conceptualized as an ethical home, it is formed and defined by a community’s practices of moral self-definition, that occur within the ethical home-making process. Third, I claim that the process of ethical home-making, through moral self-definition around cohering values and practices, renders members of an ethical home as both rights holders within the ethical home, and as having shared responsibility for their fellow ethical home members.