Moral Incapacities

Ton Van Den Belda1

a1 Utrecht University

There has been a time in my teaching career that I used to cite in my introductory classes ‘Moral Philosophy’ from Erica Jong's Fear of Flying (a best seller of the 1970's). The situation leading up to the quote is that the main character, Isadora, is asked a sexual favour by her brother in law, Pierre. Her answer and the subsequent dialogue read then as follows: ‘I can't’, I said. ‘Come on,’ Pierre said, ‘I'll teach you.’ ‘I didn't mean that… I meant that I can't; morally, I can…’