Each of us begins with a set of concerns, desires, and interests of our own, and each of us can recognize that the same is true of others. We can then remove ourselves in thought from our particular position in the world and think simply of all those people, without singling out as I the one we happen to be. From this abstracted impersonal standpoint, the content and character of different individual standpoints remain unchanged. The impersonal standpoint plays an essential role in the evaluation of political institutions. Any political theory that aspires to moral decency must try to devise and justify a form of institutional life, which answers to the real strength of impersonal values while recognizing that they are not all we have to reckon with.
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