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Private Lives and Public Affairs

Onora O’Neill, 18 October 1984

Public and Private in Social Life 
edited by S.I. Benn and G.F. Gaus.
Croom Helm, 412 pp., £19.95, July 1983, 0 7099 0668 4
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Public Man, Private Woman 
by Jean Bethke Elshtain.
Martin Robertson, 376 pp., £22.50, February 1982, 0 85520 470 2
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Women’s Choices: Philosophical Problems facing Feminism 
by Mary Midgley and Judith Hughes.
Weidenfeld, 242 pp., £12.95, September 1983, 0 297 78221 5
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... the editors in the leading essay, which many of the contributors take up. Stanley Benn and Gerald Gaus suggest that the discomfort of liberal thinking on the public-private distinction arises because liberals use two distinct conceptual frameworks. The first, individualist framework takes as private what is done, expressed or owned by particular persons; and ...

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