Attunement and Fidelity: Two Ontological Conditions for Morally Being-in-the-World


  • Jarrett Zigon


An anthropology of moralities would do well to move beyond traditional moral concepts in the realization that most moral lives and ethical projects—what we might call moral experience—are lived according to an entirely other set of moral concepts that are concerned with dwelling in the world, that is, with expanding, maintaining, repairing, or even disentangling from constitutive relationships. In this article I suggest attunement and fidelity as ontological conditions for this moral way of being-in-the-world. I argue that in limiting our disciplinary focus to traditional moral philosophies and concepts we do more to reproduce a particular moral philosophic tradition than to understand moral experience in the world. Although today many institutional and public discourses of morality emphasize the good and the right, I argue that an ontology of assembled and relational-being reveals that morality and ethics go well beyond good and evil.