Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Moral Community

  • Gordon A. Babst
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_328

The notion of a moral community is notoriously resistant to determination due to the many-sidedness of human pluralism and to differing systems of value with long, historical roots in many cultures around the world. The idea that the community of which one is a member is a moral community is appealing, though most likely relative to one’s standards of reference, unpersuasive to others, or even hopelessly vague, such as notions of the moral community of all living creatures or all God’s children. Hence, there are multiple notions of moral community reflecting local understandings, as well as different theoretical approaches rising to the highest levels of generality. The term “moral community” can be used descriptively to indicate a community believed actually to exist, or deployed as an aspiration, pointing to a type of community believed by some to be morally good, to have a quality of moral goodness to which we ought to aim. In both cases, there is a defining normative component.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon A. Babst
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceWilkinson College, Chapman UniversityOrangeUSA