Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Hittinger's essay on the Four Basic Principles of Catholic Social Doctrine

Rick and Kevin have both recently blogged about Russell Hittinger's essay, which you can read here: http://www.pass.va/content/dam/scienzesociali/pdf/acta14/acta14-hittinger.pdf

Hittinger invites us to think about the Four Principles by writing the following:

Why did the term ‘social’ come to the fore in Catholic teaching and thought? In order to answer this question, it is necessary to consider the four basic principles which orient the proceedings of this Academy: dignity of the person, solidarity, subsidiarity, and common good. Notice that, while all four principles presuppose the human person, the last three are specifically and irreducibly social. The dignity of the human person cannot be interpreted on the premise of methodological individualism – namely, that social unities and relations among members can be reduced to nonsocial properties of members or composites thereof. Indeed, whether there are real social entities instantiating real social relations amongst their members is the first and most abiding question.


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