IAPD Session V: Individual Happiness and Social Responsibility
Before entering the discussion on the issue of rights of the individual and the limits of government, it is important to look at a question about human nature. An area of tension in Western liberal thought focuses on the extent to which the individual can be conceived as and identified as an atomic entity independent of the community in which the individual is embedded. Some versions of liberalism start with fully formed individuals having values and rights and then use this concept as a basis for constructing a social order. Others argue that this is distorted thinking since individuals really exist only as persons with values and rights within an already existing community. In this class, we will discuss the appropriate amount of powers invested in political communities and rights distributed among individuals.
For this class, we will start with a discussion on how contemporary society expects individuals to behave within it and the move on to a debate on individuality within a community.
As usual, today's session has been recorded and uploaded below.