Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (2):87-115 (1999)

Authors
Eric Mack
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Abstract
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)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1009989322429
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,645
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Human Rights, Individualism and Cultural Diversity.Rowan Cruft - 2005 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 8 (3):265-287.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Different Type of Individualism in Zhuangzi.Xu Keqian 徐克謙 - 2011 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 10 (4):445-462.
Ten Modes of Individualism--None of Which Works--And Their Alternatives.Mario Bunge - 2000 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 30 (3):384-406.
Ontological Individualism Reconsidered.Brian Epstein - 2009 - Synthese 166 (1):187-213.
Human Rights, Individualism and Cultural Diversity.Rowan Cruft - 2005 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 8 (3):265-287.
Nonreductive Individualism: Part I—Supervenience and Wild Disjunction.R. Keith Sawyer - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (4):537-559.
Beyond the Skin Bag: On the Moral Responsibility of Extended Agencies.F. Allan Hanson - 2009 - Ethics and Information Technology 11 (1):91-99.
Individualism and Descartes.William Ferraiolo - 1996 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 16 (1):71-86.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
83 ( #114,586 of 2,349,061 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #512,311 of 2,349,061 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes