chapter  [56]
9 Pages

Commentary Wrestling with Broome's Concrete Sumo

WithMichael Davis

Broome's "Concrete Sumo" is a potentially informative story groaning under the weight of an interpretation it cannot bear. Broome claims the story shows that "engineers [to maintain collegiality in exigent situations] may transcend Western ethics by means called 'ethics praxistics'." There seem to be three distinct reasons why the story is supposed to transcend Western ethics: first, because the young engineer in question obeyed a person of good character rather than guiding himself by abstract principle; second, because the young engineer did as a person of good character would do rather than guiding himself by abstract principle; or third, because the engineer chose in a way that made the community the subject and his own character the predicate (rather than, as in Western ethics, his character or agency the subject and his decision the predicate).