Phenomenological Communitarianism

  • H. Peter Steeves
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 143)


We saw in the last chapter that certain traditional ethical systems are fundamentally misdirected. The judgmental and relational theories (of which Kantianism and Utilitarianism were, respectively, the obvious examples) exhibit an inherent circularity: the former cannot account for the moral character of the categories it employs and the latter can only evaluate methods and actions while the goals of those actions are inexplicably either moral or amoral. In fact, the problem seems to be that such theories are not invalid, rather they are not theories of the type which can adequately classify acts and judge whether or not they belong to the realm of the moral.


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    I do not wish to go into Sandel’s and Maclntyre’s theories in any great detail. Such is not the purpose of this chapter. The specific problems of communitarianism have been documented and discussed in numerous places (Cf. Frazer and Lacey (1993); Buchanan (1989); Rosen-blum (1989); Bell (1993)). Rather, I would like to discuss some of the common traditional problems in communitarian theory as a means of introducing Phenomenological Communitarianism and pointing to its strengths.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Peter Steeves
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCalifornia State UniversityFresnoUSA

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