chapter  4
23 Pages

Relationships and Mutually Justifiable Demands

WithAndrew I. Cohen

This chapter considers what it is to have standing to issue demands, including for repair in the breach. A person may demand an apology of someone who fails to abide by a mutually justifiable norm, but this mutual justifiability is sometimes elusive or unclear. This chapter considers the standing to demand moral repair, especially in light of the possibility of reasonable disagreement about what we have reason to do. An extended discussion of example involving “Kant’s walks” highlights the challenges and power of appealing to a relationship framework for understanding moral repair. This framework will indicate what counts as a transgression. It will indicate what repair, including apologies, is appropriate.

A relationship framework may help to give further content to a theory of apologies. Apologies often and perhaps distinctively help to repair relationships. As we saw in the last chapter, however, relationship is sometimes undertheorized.