Does communitarianism require individual independence?

Journal of Ethics 4 (3):283-304 (2000)
Critics of liberalism have argued that liberal individualismmisdescribes persons in ignoring the degree to which they aredependent on their communities. Indeed, they argue that personsare essentially socially constituted. In this paper, however, Iprovide two arguments – the first concerning communitariandescriptive claims about persons, our society, and the communitarian ideal society, and the second regarding thecommunitarian view of individual autonomy – that the communitariantheory of Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor, and Michael Sandel,relies on individuals either being independent from theircommunities or having a community-independent desire. Thisis indicative of a deep contradiction in communitarian thought.
Keywords autonomy  communitarianism  communitarians  community  individual independence  individuals  inner citadel  liberalism  social constitution
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