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Solidarity pp 57-79 | Cite as

Solidarity as a Moral and Political Concept: Beyond the Liberal/Communitarian Impasse

  • Georzge Khushf
Part of the Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture book series (PSCC, volume 5)

Abstract

Whatever its historical origin may have been, the word “solidarity” seems to have a special resonance with the needs of our day.2 For many it provides a moral and political principle that counters the individualism, atomism, and fragmentation of human life, which are jointly understood as deficiencies that arise from a classically liberal culture (Rorty, 1989; Maclntyre, 1986; Taylor, 1985, 1989, 1994; for a good overview of these thinkers and others, see Kukathas, 1986–87). Advocates of solidarity, often aligning with communitarian concerns, will similarly criticize the market, and with it the commodification of human relationships and the advancement of antagonistic human interaction seen in the division of labor and competition (Bellah, 1985; Bellah, 1991). These problems arising from the market are also attributed to liberalism, understood as the broader legal and moral framework sustaining and fostering individualism and market interactions.3 In opposition to all this, the advocates of solidarity advance the notion that all people are implicated in their identity with the interests and good of all others, and that all are likewise responsible to and for others in each individual action. They thus turn people away from individually relative accounts of value and the pursuit of self-interest, and ask them to make explicit in motivation, self-consciousness, and action their identification with the community.4

Keywords

Moral Obligation Common Good Liberal State Civic Virtue Political Concept 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georzge Khushf
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Center for BioethicsUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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