By Jack Crittenden
Within the exam of the belief of human nature, a duality is often perceived--the liberal self as atomistic, self-contained, even egocentric; and the communitarian self as socially located and outlined via its atmosphere. Crittenden argues that neither view is suitable, drawing on contemporary mental study to expound on a concept of "compound individuality." This paintings features a dialogue of the compound person because the self of liberalism, in addition to a dialogue of one of these political association that could generate own id constituted via liberal autonomy and communitarian sociality.
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Additional info for Beyond Individualism: Reconstituting the Liberal Self
Yet in the local communities Maclntyre prescribes (1981, p. 263), social roles would then eclipse individuality, as they did in the Middle Ages. Persons would become interchangeable and secondary. It would not be selves but roles that characterized such communities. 10 It is easy to see how the individual could then be submerged for the sake of the whole, for the sake of the well-being of society. If an individual becomes The Disposition of the Self 25 secondary to the common good, then his interests can easily be sacrificed at the altar of that good.
Only then can the reflecting agent discern from within a clutter of ends those that constitute his identity. Sandel has an extreme problem with autonomy and community that Taylor and Maclntyre seem to avoid. Taylor and Maclntyre contend that the self can transcend community, or traditional, boundaries and thus can stand apart from the community's ends, though only at great peril to the constitution of the self. Sandel argues, however, that the self is inseparable from and thus embedded in at least some of the community's ends.
Within this kind of scheme the principles of justice hold primacy because they are independently derived; that is, justice does not repose on any determinate notion of the good. This derivation makes justice more than simply one value among many. It gives it foundational priority; it is prior, that is, to all empirical ends. According to Sandel's reading of A Theory of Justice, its author, John Rawls—a quintessential contemporary theorist of deontological liberalism and the focus of Sandel's critique—follows Kant in arguing for the primacy of justice and for the priority of the right over the good.