A philosophical inquiry into the ethics or the morals of distress has to address a distinction regarding its very own scope. On the one hand, situations of distress can be understood to involve particular moral considerations. On the other hand, distress can be understood as the presence of specific characteristics that may allow for a divergence from what is obliged from the moral point of view. The article reflects on the idea of distress as setting limits to moral reflection and obligation, considering particular examples that illustrate the meaning of integrity and personal ties and their practical relevance in situations of distress. In the light of these reflections it seems inadequate to claim that distress exempts one from relying on moral reasoning altogether, but rather that situations of distress engender specific moral considerations.
© 2014 Akademie Verlag GmbH, Markgrafenstr. 12-14, 10969 Berlin.