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Ethics, Economics, and PoliticsPrinciples of Public Policy$
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I. M. D. Little

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257041

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199257043.001.0001

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(p.84) 8 Communitarianism
Ethics, Economics, and Politics

Ian Malcolm David Little

Oxford University Press

Communitarians claim that individuals do not exist apart from society, and that communities have a moral value that is independent of individuals. It is held that philosophers such as Rawls and Nozick who neglect persons’ deserts and their history and attachments cannot understand justice. While agreeing that persons are almost unimaginable except in a social context, and that membership of a community is an important good for many people, nevertheless, it is held that they are autonomous beings. A person may disagree with the moral code of any society, including his own. However, a shared understanding of community values has historically often been a source of evil.

Keywords:   autonomy, community, justice, moral code, society

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