The Law of Community

in Terms of the Political

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242641
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823242689 | DOI:
The Law of Community

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Chapter 1 begins with a reading of the Latin root of community (cum-munus) as a “task,” “duty,” or “law” in order to claim that what individuals have most in common is a lack of community. Through readings of the meaning of the political community in Rousseau, Kant, and Heidegger, this chapter argues that community is one with the law, and that both are necessary and impossible. Necessary: the law of community constitutes us (we have always existed in common; members of a community are such because bound by a common law). Impossible: we are likewise constituted by the lack, flaw, or nonfulfillment of the law of community, as all of the narratives that locate the origin of society in a common crime illustrate.

Keywords: Law; Community; Munus; Society; Duty; Guilt; Individual; Freedom; Care; Subjectivity

Chapter.  5657 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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