In Chapter 3 of Justice as Fittingness, Cupit describes two ways of looking at individuals and society. One is “wholeness” which I will interpret as a libertarian view that each individual has natural rights of the right sort. The other is “membership” where the individual is conceived as a part of a totality.

Cupit seems to derive the idea of membership by an analogy between society and the human body.

Ok, while it’s true that society, like the body, features unity-in-variety, this is where similarities end.

Society comes into being as a product of purposeful cooperation between individuals for mutual benefit; it’s not mindless things ordered for the purposes of the whole organism. The analogy fails completely. Society does not feature “membership” at all in this sense.

The correct holistic description of society is not organism at all but process, of growth and development.

And this does not imply any gibberish like “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

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