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Between Individualism and Communitarianism in the Quest for a Good Human Community

Uwaezuoke Precious Obioha


As a human creation, political society exists to achieve certain ends. Contracterian theorists attest to this and believe that the coming together of men and women in civil society, was not a mere coincidence, but was ordered for certain ends in view. That end is the organization and the achievement of a good human community requisite for human happiness and flourishing. But what kind of social arrangement is conducive for the achievement of this end? Is it a social arrangement where humans are defined to be autonomous and thus live as atomistic individuals with extreme love for personal rights or as communitarian and thus relational beings? Using analytical and critical tools of philosophizing, I argue that individualism as a social arrangement is steeped in egoism, unhealthy and divisive competition, extreme quest for personal rights, disdain for public interest and common good and thus constitutes a bane for social order whereas communitarianism (from an African perspective), its values of solidarity, altruism, synergy, that is, interdependence and cooperative activities, is foundational for social cohesion requisite for a full realization of personhood and good human community.


Individualism; Communitarianism; Cooperativeness; Solidarity, Personhood; Social Arrangement

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Journal on African Philosophy. ISSN: 1533-1067 (online).
Editor: Olufemi Taiwo.

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