Most conceptions of the common good identify a set of facilities that citizens have a special obligation to maintain in virtue of the fact that these facilities serve certain common interests. The relevant facilities may be part of the natural environment (e.g., the atmosphere, a freshwater aquifer, etc.) or human artifacts (e.g., hospitals, schools, etc.). But the most important facilities in the literature are social institutions and practices. For example, a scheme of private property exists when members of a community conform to rules that assign individuals certain forms of authority over external objects. Private property, as a social institution, serves a common interest of citizens in being able to assert private control over their physical environment, and so many conceptions include this institution as part of the common good.
(Last Updated On: April 7, 2019)