Plurality is a good idea

Political Theory pp 101-118 | Cite as

Summary

The question of the "common" good is one of the basic questions of political thought: it refers to the common goals and purposes for which people are united in a community, and thus to the meaning and purpose of politics in general. As far as the legitimation of political rule is concerned, no political order can do without drawing its justification from the promotion of whatever well-being of the community. Political theory has considered different things in its history for this: the good life, collective security, economic prosperity, national self-determination, the rule of law guaranteeing individual freedom. A development from substantial to procedural provisions is characteristic of the modern age, which is particularly related to a pluralization of ideas of the good.

"A political science that has nothing to say about the phenomenon of 'common good' resembles a demonstration of Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark." (Fraenkel 1991: 272)

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