Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Ethics of Identity: a review

You, I, and the rest of the world's inhabitants are distinct individual persons, but what is it that differentiates us? In political philosophy, the current consensus is that the relevant distinguishing factors are the motivating plans and projects we each consider our own. Versions of this view have been advanced by philosophers as diverse as John Rawls and his arch-critic, the “communitarian” Michael Sandel. If this is right, then there are both individual and (so to speak) “collective” or “communal” aspects of the self; for, while we are undoubtedly separate persons, it is equally undeniable that our projects, and the values which inform them, are a function of the specific cultural and historical contexts in which we find ourselves situated. So what – precisely – is the relation between these two aspects? Read the full article here.

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