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The Roots of Communitarian Ideas

  • Henry TamEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, the author distinguishes communitarian ideas with reference to five core formulations that gave rise to the ‘communitarian’ label, and traces their historical roots back to the Golden Rule of reciprocity that featured in all ancient civilisations. The chapter gives an outline of those formulations by Owenite thinkers; the communitarian critics of Rawls; the advocates for communitarian social markets; the liberal communitarian exponents of inclusive public policies; and the progressive communitarian synthesis that highlights the principles of mutual responsibility, cooperative enquiry, and citizen participation. On this basis, he sifts out misleading conceptions of ‘communitarian’ thinking, and commences his examination of communitarianism with a look at the germinal debates that took place amongst thinkers in ancient Greece and China over the proper direction for the development of community life.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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