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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2108/279

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contributor.authorGorini, Stefano-
description.abstractThe claims in this essay are of three types, philosophical, historical and sociological. The basic philosophical claim concerns the concepts of social solidarity, moral capacity, secular-scientific worldview, and their relationships. Social solidarity means respect for the interests of the other human beings, as interests having in society the same value as one’s own. Moral capacity means believing in moral values, where these are universal principles giving an absolute meaning to human life. In this sense a person may possess social solidarity and yet no real moral capacity, while the secular-scientific worldview is intrinsically devoid of moral values because it has no room for absolute meanings. However, individual liberty-independence, properly defined, is the only absolute meaning of human life, and thus the only moral value, compatible with the secular worldview. The basic historical claim is that in the west, following the transition from feudal-aristocratic to capitalist-liberal societies, the secular worldview, driven by the power of scientific-technological progress, has eroded the metaphysical, religious and ideological ones, becoming the dominant ingredient of culture and institutions. Since the secularization process tends to destroy values without replacing them, contemporary liberal capitalist and secularized societies tend to become societies without values. The basic sociological claim concerns the unique power of individual real moral capacity in guiding behaviour. The ordinary citizen’s recognition of individual liberty-independence as the only public moral value is a necessary condition for ensuring the good functioning of the public and private economies and of liberal political institutions, where "good" means consistent with the safeguarding of individual liberty-independence as a universal ethical principle in all social interactions. If this individual moral capacity is too weak, or shared by too few people, no system of rules, organization and management of government power and market forces, however perfected, will ever be capable of ensuring that “good” functioning.en
format.extent103537 bytes-
relation.ispartofseriesQuaderni CEIS; 163-
subjectmoral capacityen
subjectsecularized societyen
titleThe Fiscal State, the market and the citizens' moral capacity in the secularized societyen
subject.jelA13; Relation of economics to social valuesen
subject.jelD63; Equity, justice, inequality, and other normative criteria and measurementen
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