Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

In Defense of Individualism

Eric Mack
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
Vol. 2, No. 2 (Jun., 1999), pp. 87-115
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27504079
Page Count: 29
  • Get Access
  • Download ($43.95)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
In Defense of Individualism
Preview not available

Abstract

This paper offers a programmatic philosophical articulation of moral and political individualism. This individualism consists of two main components: value individualism and rights individualism. The former is the view that, for each individual, the end which is of ultimate value is his own well-being. Each individual's well-being has ultimate agent-relative value and the only ultimate values are these agent-relative values. The latter view is that individuals possess moral jurisdiction over themselves, i.e., rights of self-ownership. These rights (along with other rights individuals may come to possess) constrain the manner in which agents may pursue value. For this reason, the articulated individualism is an constrained individualism. Sketches of arguments are offered for both value and rights individualism. And it is argued that the sole legitimate function of legal/political institutions is to further delineate and protect the rights of individuals. However, the paper is also concerned to indicate why this radical moral and political individualism does not have many of the features or implications that are commonly ascribed to it. In this connection, I seek to show how this social doctrine accords with individuals' having concern for the well-being of others, with the emergence of relationship among individuals that have both instrumental and non-instrumental value, with a degree of responsibility for self and others that is often thought to be antithetical to individualism and, in general, with a flourishing of civil order.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[87]
    [87]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
88
    88
  • Thumbnail: Page 
89
    89
  • Thumbnail: Page 
90
    90
  • Thumbnail: Page 
91
    91
  • Thumbnail: Page 
92
    92
  • Thumbnail: Page 
93
    93
  • Thumbnail: Page 
94
    94
  • Thumbnail: Page 
95
    95
  • Thumbnail: Page 
96
    96
  • Thumbnail: Page 
97
    97
  • Thumbnail: Page 
98
    98
  • Thumbnail: Page 
99
    99
  • Thumbnail: Page 
100
    100
  • Thumbnail: Page 
101
    101
  • Thumbnail: Page 
102
    102
  • Thumbnail: Page 
103
    103
  • Thumbnail: Page 
104
    104
  • Thumbnail: Page 
105
    105
  • Thumbnail: Page 
106
    106
  • Thumbnail: Page 
107
    107
  • Thumbnail: Page 
108
    108
  • Thumbnail: Page 
109
    109
  • Thumbnail: Page 
110
    110
  • Thumbnail: Page 
111
    111
  • Thumbnail: Page 
112
    112
  • Thumbnail: Page 
113
    113
  • Thumbnail: Page 
114
    114
  • Thumbnail: Page 
115
    115