Common Good and Globalization
June 21-28 Kuppam, India
The concept of Common good has been the concern of philosophers since ancient times. It drew the attention of the scholars perennially irrespective of place and time. I a popular sense, the common good can be understood as a specific ‘good’ that is shared and beneficial for all (or most) members of a given community.
Answers to basic questions such as – How to understand ‘common’ in common good? How ‘common’ it should be? What is good? Whether it is moral or social or political or economic? Whose Good it should be? – may vary basing on the context from which these questions are posed. Also what is common good in the context of family, friendship, community, state and global world may vary according to the group, place and time. Again common good may vary from the point of view of ethics, religion, society and polity.
Individualism may argue against common good by pointing out that ‘given that no two individuals consider the same thing as good – can we arrive at the common good? But the very existence of different communities and societies, cultures and religions proves the fact that in fact people did made an attempt to arrive at the common good and succeeded at it. But, in arriving at the common good, individuals may have to forgo some amount of individual good. Also there are instances, where the good of some sections of people suppressed to arrive at the common good.
What ought to be the framework of common good and what necessary conditions it should satisfy to become a common good are some of the interesting issues to pursue. Answers to these questions may vary on the basis of the intentions and motives of the people. These motives may lead to the growth of ‘isms’ such as patriotism, Nationalism, Traditionalism, Chauvinism, Fundamentalism etc. There were attempts at questioning the very concept of common good. Scholars like Habermas while believing that common good can be desirable argues that it cannot be possible in the modern state. In contrast, it is also believed by a few that common good is in fact both desirable and possible.
Keeping these complexities in the mind the seminar proposes to bring out diverse understandings of common good in the context of global culture. Given the existence of different religious, ethnic, gender etc. , in the context of globalizations would mobilize a kind of solidarity and tolerance, which would pave way for the global harmony.
Prof. Balaganapathi Devarakonda
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Dravidian University - Kuppam 517 425
Andhra Pradesh India