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 positioned and outlined via its setting. Crittenden argues that neither view is suitable, drawing on contemporary mental study to expound on a idea of "compound individuality." This paintings encompasses a dialogue of the compound person because the self of liberalism, in addition to a dialogue of this kind of political association that could generate own identification constituted through liberal autonomy and communitarian sociality.
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Additional resources for Beyond Individualism: Reconstituting the Liberal Self
Sandel argues, however, that the self is inseparable from and thus embedded in at least some of the community's ends. If the self is the community framework and its ends, then the self cannot reflect on those ends and the framework; if the self can reflect on the ends, then those ends cannot constitute the self. If Rawls's theory of the self is untenable, if not incoherent, then by the same token, but from the opposite side, so is Sandel's. According to the Rawlsian account, what is beyond agency and thus not subject to choice are the self and the principles of justice, as they obtain prior to any actual choosing.
How are the tradition-guiding principles determined to be first principles? Maclntyre is clearly no relativist; he argues as an "Augustinian Christian"—one who reads Augustine through Aquinas's interpretations of Aristotle— that Thomism has won the day. This Catholic tradition has demonstrated to Maclntyre's satisfaction its rational superiority, and it has done so through the dialectical method in which the central tenets of one's own tradition are open to question (Maclntyre, 1988, p. 388) and in which this tradition transcends but includes rival theories.
Though the stories each side told about what Socrates did were "different and incompatible" (Maclntyre, 1981, p. 173), the end that each side chose was the same. To maintain the priority of the community and its laws, Socrates took his life. Through autonomy an individual can transcend the moral limitations of his 28 Behind Individualism traditions, but the community derived from that tradition must order banishment or death of its transcenders so as to maintain its integrity and cohesion. Here the conflict is that between Zeus the lawgiver and Prometheus the bringer of fire.