Politics and Generosity

Journal of Applied Philosophy 7 (1):61-73 (1990)
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ABSTRACT This paper argues that generosity as a moral virtue is only consistently and fully possible to practise in the kind of polity that upholds natural individual human rights, including the basic negative right to private property. The paper sketches a characterisation of generosity and explains the sense in which it can be a moral virtue. Some of the assumptions underlying the concept of moral virtue are considered and it is argued that contrary to some recent claims, it is possible to conceptualise as well as to practise moral virtues in our age. Yet it is also shown that certain political prerequisites are necessary for practising generosity. Furthermore, it is shown that there cannot be any generosity involved in a polity in which one is forced to share one's wealth with those who might be the beneficiaries of generous conduct. Finally, it is argued that even in a polity with a very limited government some acts of official generosity are possible



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References found in this work

The Virtue of Freedom in Capitalism.Tibor R. Machan - 1986 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 3 (1):49-58.
Generosity and Property in Aristotle's Politics: T. H. IRWIN.T. H. Irwin - 1987 - Social Philosophy and Policy 4 (2):37-54.
Is There a Right to be Wrong?Tibor R. Machan - 1985 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 2 (4):105-109.

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