Vulnerability, Conscience, and Integrity




vulnerability, recognition, grievability, Black Lives Matter, conscience, synderesis


This essay explores how vulnerability, understood not as precarity but as capacious responsiveness, much as the Philosopher Judith Butler identifies it, and recognition are key moral concepts that are prior conditions for the expression of conscience. Appreciating Thomas Aquinas' argument that conscience is neither a power or a habit, but rather an act, the essay argues that Aquinas' inclination synderesis, that prompts us to the good and away from evil, functions in a way similar to vulnerability. Fundamentally, vulnerability prompts us to recognize the neighbor who needs our response.


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How to Cite

Keenan, J. (2024) “Vulnerability, Conscience, and Integrity”, De Ethica, 8(1), pp. 10–24. doi: 10.3384/de-ethica.2001-8819.248110.