3
PUBLIC INTEREST AND ULTIMATE COMMITMENT

WILLIAM S. MINOR

The major purpose of this treatise is to make some contribution to the advancement of political and legal philosophy by critical analysis of relations between public interest and man's ultimate commitment. The raw material used by political and legal philosophy, like the raw material with which all philosophy begins to work, is neither analytic nor critical. This raw material is generally referred to in the vocabulary of philosophy as common sense data. The common sense data of political and legal philosophy are the multiplicity of unanalyzed and uncriticized publics including their unanalyzed and uncriticized interests within them. The basic purpose of political and legal philosophy, like all philosophy, is refinement of the raw material or common sense data by means of a continuing process of analysis and criticism in the interest of increase in the highest form of knowledge, called wisdom, which is intelligent guidance of life.

Public and private interests must be clearly distinguished. The distinction is based on the perception of two types of consequences as the outcome of human association and the effort to control human behavior in the interest of consequences assumed

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