chapter  5
26 Pages

Dissident Speech: Figuration and the Politicization of Moral Perception

Kathryn Pyne Addelson understands impasses between backers of established cultural values and norms and opponents of these conventions as revolutionary moments, and she likens moral revolution to the paradigm shifts that Thomas Kuhn invoked to explain scientific revolutions. Moral revolutionaries, such as the proponents of women's suffrage, can call for change, but they cannot justify the changes they advocate because the vision of social relations they are advancing is incommensurable with accepted principles and accepted interpretations of those principles (Addelson, 1991, 21-24). For Addelson, then, moral revolutionaries must create values by recreating themselves (Addelson, 1991, 29-31). They must conceive anew what it is to be a person, and their judgments of value and their choices must be filtered through that conception.