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Communities of RespectGrounding Responsibility, Authority, and Dignity$
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Bennett W. Helm

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198801863

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198801863.001.0001

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Persons in the First-Person Plural

Persons in the First-Person Plural

(p.225) 8 Persons in the First-Person Plural
Communities of Respect

Bennett W. Helm

Oxford University Press

Individualist conceptions of persons, grounded in individualist understandings of responsibility, rationality, and identity, must be rejected. Preceding chapters developed an account of communities of respect via an essentially interpersonal type of practical rationality in terms of which we can understand responsibility to be essentially social. In addition, there are two senses in which individuals are identified with the communities of respect of which they are members. First, norms of character are, in effect, communal values, defining a (partial) form of life members jointly find worthwhile. In doing so, they form an element of the identities of community members, albeit an element that can conflict with the personal values of each. Second, members identify with each other through their recognition respect, which amounts to a kind of non-intimate love. Taken together, this means that persons are to be understood in terms of communities of respect—from a first-person plural perspective.

Keywords:   persons, individualism, communal values, identification, non-intimate love, communities of respect

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