Our sense of responsibility must, in order to fulfil itself, be always exceptional and particular, because attentive to a specific unique demand; yet to be responsible it must also by definition be answerable to a public forum. But how can these two demands ever be reconciled? And what explanation could ever be given to the neglected ones? There are never, it seems, any adequate, that is to say publicly stateable reasons for lavishing devotion on one person rather than another–to the public gaze this will always appear excessively aesthetic or erotic. Yet to the private impulse it may appear to fulfil the logic of the ethical itself.

John Milbank, Being Reconciled