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By David Kelley

The welfare kingdom rests at the assumption that individuals have rights to meals, safeguard, health and wellbeing care, retirement source of revenue, and different items supplied via the govt.. David Kelley examines the old origins of that assumption, and the reason used to help it at the present time.

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On the original view, the inner voice was important because it tells us what the right thing to do is. Being in touch with our moral feelings matters here, as a means to the end of acting rightly. What I’m calling the displacement of the moral accent comes about when being in touch with our feelings takes on independent and crucial moral significance. It comes to be something we have to attain if we are to be true and full human beings. To see what is new here, we have to see the analogy to earlier moral views, where being in touch with some source—for example, God, or the Idea of the Good—was 3 Lionel Trilling, Sincerity and Authenticity (New York: Norton, 1969).

I say “threatens” because deconstructionism has not actually “taken over” the academy, as some critics claim. But the anti-intellectual, politicizing threat it poses is nonetheless real. A great deal of intellectual life, especially in the humanities and the “soft” social sci19 AMY GUTMANN ences, depends upon dialogue among reasonable people who disagree on the answers to some fundamental questions about the value of various literary, political, economic, religious, educational, scientific, and aesthetic understandings and achievements.

It is intellectual idolatry, and not philosophical openness and acuity, that supports the claim, frequently articulated but rarely defended, that the greatest philosophical works—judged by such standards as originality and eloquence, systematic reasoning, depth of moral, psychological, or political understanding, and influence on our inherited social understandings—contain the greatest wisdom now available to us on all significant subjects. Is Aristotle’s understanding of slavery more enlightening than Frederick Douglass’s?

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