Common Good Argument

Decent Essays

Galston (2013) claims that idea of the common good “has real content in theory and real utility in practice”, throughout his essay on the common good, he provides sufficient evidence to back his main claim and he uses it to refute the arguments of others. He defines three key aspects of the common good to support his claim of the common good having “real content in theory”, these include: ‘Inherently social goods’, ‘Social linkages’ and ‘The good of the commons’. Galston (2013) then proceeds to give evidence on the concept of bargaining and the U.S. Constitution; he uses these examples to support his claim that the common good has “real utility in practice”. I believe Galston understands the academic conversation around the common good quite …show more content…

Throughout, Galston (2013)’s essay, Galston addresses and responds to a number of arguments that are against the concept of the common good. An example of this is when Galston discusses realists and their views. “Many people who think of themselves as realists…dismiss the common good as pious rhetoric” and “there is evidence to support this skeptical view” (p. 9) this shows that he is fully aware of how a specific group of people perceive the common good and he bases the rest of his essay on proving that the common good is not just ‘pious rhetoric’ as some people may think. Galston comes back to this argument when he discusses “Social linkages” which are certain aspects of an individual’s life in which the welfare of others can greatly impact that individual. He gives an example …show more content…

One example he gives based on inherently social goods is humor, “telling a joke to oneself is virtually impossible, because humor requires surprise”, as a result, this allows us to make the inference that there are certain aspects of life that require the company of others and without it, the good (humor in this case) would be lost. Galston (2013) states that ‘The good of the commons’ is when how people behave in shared social spaces impacts others (p.11). “If we carelessly leave an unextinguished fire in a camp-ground, the entire facility may go up in flames.” (p.11), this shows how the common good includes everyone’s best interests and this example in fact shows that it does have “real content in theory” as it is quite easy to imagine the scenarios he has presented, occurring in real

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