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communitarianism


Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


Extract

P olitical philosophy A family of positions that stand in contrast to liberal individualism . While liberal individualism, which developed from utilitarian and Kantian thought to Rawls and Nozick , focuses on the individual as the bearer of rights and as the center of moral and political analysis, communitarianism shifts this focus to the community . It insists that the individual is embedded into a concrete moral, social, historical, and political context that is constitutive of individual identity.Hence communitarianism replaces the atomistic conception of the person with a contextualist view of human identity and agency. It emphasizes the social nature of life and the relationships constituting it rather than freedom of choice. It claims that communal good is prior to individual rights and that there is no single distributive principle that is applicable to all social goods. The intelligibility and justification of justice must be connected to tradition and the shared conception of the good.We cannot stand outside the discourse and traditions of particular societies. The major proponents of communitarianism include A. MacIntyre , M. Sandel , C. Taylor , and R. Rorty , but the position has not yet been systematized and does not have a common manifesto. The major charge facing at least some communitarian positions is that they have conservative social and political ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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