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Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


E thics, political philosophy, philosophy of social science In ethics, community is not an institution that is organized for any special purpose in accordance with rules. Instead, it is the social context in which members are united by mutual cooperation and reciprocity. Community in this sense has been seen as a virtue in traditional conceptions of the good or ideal society. Liberal individualism places priority on the individual in contrast to community by isolating individuals from their historical and social context and treating individuals as abstract bearers of rights. Contemporary communitarianism argues that community rather than the individual should be the basis of ethics and political theory. The community is constitutive of the individual's identity. It is a formative context and an organic whole rather than an aggregate of atoms. This idea can be traced to Aristotle 's emphasis on the role of the polis in the cultivation of virtues and Hegel 's doctrine of Stattlichkeit . Since in a contemporary society, national identity and historical, ethical, or religious identities do not coincide, the boundaries of political communities have become unclear. “Integrity demands that the public standards of the community be both made and seen, so far as this is possible, to express a single, coherent scheme of justice and fairness in the right relation.” Dworkin, Law's Empire ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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