What is a Public?

Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 50:721-728 (2008)
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Abstract

The American philosopher John Dewey defines a public as those who are affected by indirect consequences of transactions to such an extent that they deem it necessary to care systematically for these consequences. Unfortunately, his definition enables a public to cooperate merely for the control of the negative consequences of human action. Plato suggests that we might better define a public as those who deem it desirable to care for human action for the sake of itself as well as for the sake of its consequences. This definition would especially empower a public to increase cooperation for attaining the goods of human happiness and virtue

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Paul Schollmeier
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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