Thus far in Civic Virtues, I have been able to understand Dagger's goals and arguements. In chapter 4, I am beggining to lose sight of his ties between autonomy and liberalism, with community and republicanism. I do understand the actual points that he is making, but I would like us to dicuss how they tie in with his larger arguement in class. On page 54, there is a passage that sheds some light, but others' insight would be great.
"..the value of rights, liberty, and autonomy can only be grounded in and sustained by a community or culture that enables the individual to develop his or her capacity of choice." But in doing so, one would only see the value of community as instrumental, which is something that Dagger argues against.
Many believe that the needs of our fellow citizens should be taken into regard first, but Dagger explains how foreigners' needs sometimes can trump those of the people closer to us. I really like his explanation of human rights, and how one should see them as adjacent to universal autonomy. If one believes in autonomy, than one will have to believe that basic human rights need to be respected in order to achieve that autonomy. On page 43, he dicusses about the "equality of all things", and how that affects who should get our aid first. Does this mean that, for example, if we are to send hearing aids overseas, we should first make sure that our fellow citizens and citizens of the recieving country are fed and healthy? How do we discern what situations take precedent if all things are equal? Does community matter most?
I did not quite understand the discussion about psychological ability to deal with the problems of the whole world. He writes: "In short, we should give our fellow citizens priority for the simple reason that our psychological limitations will not allow us to do otherwise." Is this Dagger speaking, or is he stating others' views?
I feel like Dagger's actual view is more expressed on some of the following pages where he states" The arguement from efficiency presumably requires us to balance the good we can do against the costs we incur while doing it, and in this case it seems that the citizen would not take priority. Important as it is, efficiency is not enough to establish priority of compatriots" (45).
He also argues for reciprocity and fair play which people enter into when entering societies and social contracts. If one is going to benefit from products of society, it is one's duty to contribute to the making of those products.
Why yes, it has been years
1 year ago