Chapter

MODERATE AND EXTREME HARMONY OF INTERESTS

David O. Brink

in Perfectionism and the Common Good

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780199266401
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600906 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199266409.003.0020

Series: Lines of Thought

 MODERATE AND EXTREME HARMONY OF INTERESTS

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This chapter presents an interpretation of Green's conception of the common good. It is argued that Green's conception of the common good seeks to explain how it is that the goods of distinct individuals, when conceived in perfectionist terms, can be shown to be substantially interdependent. Only if he argues in this way is Green entitled to claim that a common good, which includes the good of others, is part of self-realization. This interpretation of Green's account of the role of the common good in self-realization models interpersonal relations and concern on intrapersonal relations and concern, thus extending the boundaries of self-interest and self-love so as to include the good of others. This view implies a conception of interpersonal relations that should lead us to see people's interests as metaphysically, and not just instrumentally, interdependent. This allows Green to claim that there is a substantial harmony between the agent's own interests and those of others — this is moderate harmony. However, these claims they do not establish the strong thesis that there can be no conflict or competition of interests among people — this is extreme harmony.

Keywords: T. H. Green; common good; harmony; perfectionist terms; self-interest; self-love

Chapter.  1029 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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