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Perfectionism and the Common GoodThemes in the Philosophy of T. H. Green$
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David O. Brink

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199266401

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199266409.001.0001

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MODERATE AND EXTREME HARMONY OF INTERESTS

MODERATE AND EXTREME HARMONY OF INTERESTS

Chapter:
(p.60) XX. MODERATE AND EXTREME HARMONY OF INTERESTS
Source:
Perfectionism and the Common Good
Author(s):

David O. Brink (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199266409.003.0020

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

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