David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (2):87-115 (1999)
This paper offers a programmatic philosophical articulation of moral and political individualism. This individualism consists of two main components: value individualism and rights individualism. The former is the view that, for each individual, the end which is of ultimate value is his own well-being. Each individual's well-being has ultimate agent-relative value and the only ultimate values are these agent-relative values. The latter view is that individuals possess moral jurisdiction over themselves, i.e., rights of self-ownership. These rights (along with other rights individuals may come to possess) constrain the manner in which agents may pursue value. For this reason, the articulated individualism is an constrained individualism. Sketches of arguments are offered for both value and rights individualism. And it is argued that the sole legitimate function of legal/political institutions is to further delineate and protect the rights of individuals. However, the paper is also concerned to indicate why this radical moral and political individualism does not have many of the features or implications that are commonly ascribed to it. In this connection, I seek to show how this social doctrine accords with individuals' having concern for the well-being of others, with the emergence of relationships among individuals that have both instrumental and non-instrumental value, with a degree of responsibility for self and others that is often thought to be antithetical to individualism and, in general, with a flourishing of civil order.
|Keywords||agent-relativity civil society emergent order individualism moral side-constraints rights|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
G. B. Madison (1990). How Individualistic is Methodological Individualism? Critical Review 4 (1-2):41-60.
David J. Buller (1997). Individualism and Evolutionary Psychology (Or: In Defense of "Narrow" Functions). Philosophy of Science 64 (1):74-95.
F. Allan Hanson (2009). Beyond the Skin Bag: On the Moral Responsibility of Extended Agencies. [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 11 (1):91-99.
R. Keith Sawyer (2002). Nonreductive Individualism: Part I—Supervenience and Wild Disjunction. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (4):537-559.
Rowan Cruft (2005). Human Rights, Individualism and Cultural Diversity. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 8 (3):265-287.
Brian Epstein (2009). Ontological Individualism Reconsidered. Synthese 166 (1):187-213.
Mario Bunge (2000). Ten Modes of Individualism--None of Which Works--And Their Alternatives. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 30 (3):384-406.
Xu Keqian 徐克謙 (2011). A Different Type of Individualism in Zhuangzi. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 10 (4):445-462.
William Ferraiolo (1996). Individualism and Descartes. Teorema 16 (1):71-86.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads55 ( #35,400 of 1,679,345 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #60,351 of 1,679,345 )
How can I increase my downloads?