By Glenn Langford
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Extra resources for Education, Persons and Society: A Philosophical Enquiry
It was pointed out earlier that the exchange of goods in the market place depends on the mutual recognition, on the part of the parties engaged in it, of the other's right to whatever is offered or received in exchange. What changes hands in the market is the right to property, and it does so by voluntary agreement; in other words, theft and deception are ruled out. This being the case, someone who has been swindled, for example, must be able to claim redress. This need is recognised in courts of justice.
But since it is obvious that men do interact with one another in some way, the Lockean account must be extended to include some account of social relations between men. Since the things which men desire, such as food, shelter and sexual partners, are likely to be in short supply, they will be forced to compete with one another for them and may be expected to see each other as rivals. But for a number of reasons the supply of some things can be increased through co-operation. First, two people acting together can sometimes do things that would be difficult or impossible on their own, for example, using a large fishing net.
To put it another way, both thought and action are structured by a conceptual scheme which is also reflected in the language which we use to talk about what we see and do; in so far as we use the same language and engage in the same social practices we also make use of the same conceptual scheme. It follows that there can be no coherent practice- whether of teaching, medicine or anything else- without a coherent conception of it on the part of its practitioners, although it need not be self-conscious or verbalised.
Education, Persons and Society: A Philosophical Enquiry by Glenn Langford