Editors’ note: the below is a response to “The fallacies of the common good” by Kim R. Holmes, the lead essay in “Common-good conservatism: a debate.” Holmes’s reply can be found here.

Conservatives are once again debating the nature of the political common good. This is salutary, for no political community should ignore the actual common good, nor avoid the concept of the common good. The common good plays an essential role for thinkers as profound as Aristotle and Aquinas, and for the Western tradition ever since. For Aristotle, whether or not a regime governs for...


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