April 27, 1993
Contemporary communitarian thought critiques liberalism for the latter's anemic conception of community. Liberalism requires a doctrine of community and common good in order to ground its predilection for distributive justice. For communitarians, liberalism here tries to square a circle. Mishnah, Talmud, and Maimonides anticipate this contemporary debate by conceiving of community and common good in a way thick enough to allow for distributive justice, yet limited enough to preserve individual rights.