Rethinking community in the aftermath of communitarianism: outlines of a phenomenological path

Alberto Pirni


Three decades after it arose, the contemporary Communitarianism and the questions it raised still appear to beworthy of serious attention. In an attempt to confront this legacy, the first part of the present essay seeks to propose aredefinition of the concept of community. It does so by setting itself two key phenomenological questions, which areboth devoted to the concept of sharing. The first question asks how something can be shared amongst multiplebeings who are divided by emotional, ethical, religious, linguistic and ethnic differences. The second and no lessfundamental question, in turn, asks what people have to share in the first place. The second part of the essay invokesa familiar Kantian distinction in order to sketch out and discuss a proposed ‘semantics of sharing’. This semanticmodel is intended to clarify and enrich the questions surrounding the ‘integration of the self’, which constitutes oneof the most central aspects of the human being’s need for sociality.


community; communitarianism; phenomenological theory; pluralism; modernity; sharing; Kant,Immanuel

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