The Common Good of the Common Life Of the Godly Person of a Higher Order

  • James G. Hart
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 126)


The Husserlian social theory presented in this volume has parallels in the Western religious doctrines of monotheism, messianism, christology, and trinitarianism. In the first two sections we shall briefly contrast the functions of these doctrines in the establishment of the ideal community with the proposed Husserlian theory. In each case, with the exception of the Trinity, one or more of these religious doctrines, i.e., the one God, the Messiah, and the Christ, serves as the necessary supplement for the ultimate ethical requirement and as a necessary condition for the universal mutuality of wills and the community of intentions, goals and goods. Everyone can exist intentionally in everyone else and each’s agency can be part of everyone else’s if and only if there is a universal Other or Someone who stands in the same relation to each as ideal, beloved, and agent. Each is loved more profoundly in the ideal Other because each’s true self is realized through its unity with this ideal beloved; each’s agency is unified in this ideal Other, the abiding attention by whom, and the abiding intention of whom, purifies, joins and sustains the manifolds of interactions of the universal community. The logical development of the ideal of a universal community, wherein each is for each and all and all are for each is toward a centering ideal, symbol or actuality wherein each is truly re-presented. This unique intentional ideal or “symbolic presence” re-presents the actually absent others and deepens the commitment to those who are present. In so far as this community is a particular community tied to universal historical humanity and is the vehicle of the realization, in some sense, of ultimate value, the universal ideal Other tends to be envisaged as the ultimate teleological and originating divine principle of the community.1


Common Good Common Life Common World Common Dilemma Juridic Person 
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    This massive claim has coalesced in what today is called by some writers “peace research.” Aside from the theoretical efforts in this book, what further founds my concluding claim are the insights and arguments of the peace-research tradition which, as I envisage it, moves in a completely different sphere of assumptions from that of modern discussions of the public interest, Prisoner’s Dilemma game theory, the Tragedy of the Commons, etc. This tradition contains, among others, the writings of Kropotkin, e.g., on Mutual Aid, Lewis Mumford on the city and on The Transformations of Man, Pitrim Sorokin on The Reconstruction of Humanity, the life and writings of Gandhi and his followers, the theological writings of Helmut Gollwitzer, the numerous writings, e.g., of Ashley Montagu, on non-aggression in animals and so-called primitives, the analyses of structural violence by Johann Galtung, the study on competition as a neurosis by Alfie Kohn, Hal Pepinsky’s writings on the “criminal justice system,” the social-ecological writings of Murray Bookchin, Arne Naess, Johan Galtung, the feminist analyses of Birgit Brock-Utne, Maria Mies, Vandana Shiva, et alii, and the synthetic efforts of Rudolf Bahro.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • James G. Hart
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Religious StudiesIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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