Constructing Community by J. Donald Moon

By J. Donald Moon

In constructing a brand new concept of political and ethical neighborhood, J. Donald Moon takes questions of cultural pluralism and distinction extra heavily than do many different liberal thinkers of our period: Moon is keen to confront the matter of ways neighborhood might be created between those that have very diversified perspectives concerning the right ends of human existence. Experiencing such profound war of words, will we stay jointly in a society less than norms all of us settle for? lately, conventional methods of this question have come lower than assault by way of post-modernists, feminists, and thinkers enthusiastic about pluralism. Respectfully attractive their reviews, Moon proposes a reformulated liberalism that's meant to beat the issues they've got pointed out. In constructing a brand new thought of political and ethical group, J. Donald Moon takes questions of cultural pluralism and distinction extra heavily than do many different liberal thinkers of our period: Moon is keen to confront the matter of ways neighborhood might be created between those that have very varied perspectives concerning the right ends of human lifestyles. Experiencing such profound confrontation, do we dwell jointly in a society less than norms all of us settle for? lately, conventional methods of taking a look at this question have come below assault by means of post-modernists, feminists, and thinkers desirous about pluralism. Respectfully attractive their reviews, Moon proposes a reformulated liberalism that's meant to beat the issues they've got pointed out.

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More recently, Joseph Raz has developed an account of the “morality of freedom” based on the premise that “personal autonomy” is “an essential element of the good life,” and he argues convincingly that “valuing autonomy commits one to . . value pluralism” (1986:424–25, 398). Following the “standard model” described above, Raz argues that “Govern17 In Rawls’s theory, the primary goods are certain “basic liberties” and opportunities, the “powers and prerogatives of offices, income and wealth,” and “the social bases of selfrespect” (see Rawls 1982:162; 1971:62–63).

When such differences arise, when moral pluralism as distinct from a plurality of spheres develops in society, we cannot achieve justice by maintaining borders between spheres, for the borders—indeed, the very definition—of the spheres is precisely what is in question. 6 Nor, she argues, should landlords be compensated for the reduction in the value of their property resulting from the imposition of rent control, “for reasons analogous to why it is inappropriate to compensate ‘expropriated’ slaveholders” (1986:367), since housing—like human beings—should not have been commodified in the first place.

Indeed, particularistic ties can strengthen commu9 I do not mean this as a caricature, as though this security can be purchased cheaply. To maintain one’s faith in, and commitment to, a life oriented toward the Good, even in the face of deep suffering and deprivation, is enormously difficult, Socrates’s equanimity in the Phaedo notwithstanding. The issues involved here are insightfully discussed in Winch (1965–66) and Fingarette (1978). 10 My critique of this unitary conception of value follows Nussbaum’s argument closely.

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