more from Michael J. Sandel

Single Idea 22267

[catalogued under 25. Society / C. Social Justice / 2. Social Freedom / c. Free speech]

Full Idea

By the liberal conception of a person, my dignity could never be damaged by an insult to a group with which I identify, because what matters is not my social role, but my capacity to choose that role.

Gist of Idea

In the liberal view an insult to my group doesn't hurt me, since I'm defined by choices not groups


Michael J. Sandel (The Limits of Communitarianism [1998], 'Free speech')

Book Reference

Sandel,Michael J.: 'Public Philosophy: Essays' [Harvard 2005], p.258

A Reaction

If I'm defined by my capacity to choose, and I choose to join some group, why is an insult to that group not an insult to my capacity to choose? How do you insult a liberal? 'I despise your individual freedom!'.

Related Idea

Idea 22268 If persons define themselves by a group membership, insults to that group are a real harm [Sandel]