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T. H. Green on Property and Moral Responsibility

T. H. Green on Property and Moral Responsibility T. H. Green on Property and Moral Responsibility David Crossley, University of Saskatchewan Some philosophers, including Aristotle, have viewed ethical theory as leading on to the study of politics; and many believe that justifications of social and political institutions require appeal to ethical principles. For T. H. Green, however, there was an important practical connection between ethics and politics, for the state has, in his view, the moral role of providing a context which enables all citizens to develop their moral character. That the state has this moral function dictates to, and constrains, the state’s design of its institutions. For example, if the state must make possible the development of a spontaneous moral disposition to do good (and to pursue the common good), and if this requires developing a sense of responsibility toward others through management of a share of the material resources valued by the community, then the state has to establish a private property institution. On this view property ownership helps develop a responsible attitude to the use of freedom and provides an arena for the kind of independent, autonomous choices that are constitutive of the good will. Thus, although there are other functions of a property http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis Brill

T. H. Green on Property and Moral Responsibility

History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis , Volume 6 (1): 25 – Apr 5, 2003

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2666-4283
eISSN
2666-4275
DOI
10.30965/26664275-00601011
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

T. H. Green on Property and Moral Responsibility David Crossley, University of Saskatchewan Some philosophers, including Aristotle, have viewed ethical theory as leading on to the study of politics; and many believe that justifications of social and political institutions require appeal to ethical principles. For T. H. Green, however, there was an important practical connection between ethics and politics, for the state has, in his view, the moral role of providing a context which enables all citizens to develop their moral character. That the state has this moral function dictates to, and constrains, the state’s design of its institutions. For example, if the state must make possible the development of a spontaneous moral disposition to do good (and to pursue the common good), and if this requires developing a sense of responsibility toward others through management of a share of the material resources valued by the community, then the state has to establish a private property institution. On this view property ownership helps develop a responsible attitude to the use of freedom and provides an arena for the kind of independent, autonomous choices that are constitutive of the good will. Thus, although there are other functions of a property

Journal

History of Philosophy and Logical AnalysisBrill

Published: Apr 5, 2003

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