Chapter 5: Maintaining Focus and Purpose: The Body Paragraphs
Body Paragraph 2
Justice stresses that such a created community is often defined by “a commons,” which he defines thusly: “A commons is a level-playing field. Everybody gets to breathe air, and we have that in common with most other species.” He establishes language as one of the first such commons, “available to everyone free” and a “common way for us to share information and create enduring knowledge.” Thus, whether it is being used to foster cooperation or perpetuate conflict, language has always been a commons accessible to all members who wish to contribute meaningfully to their community.
Please note: To establish further our particular reading of Justice’s article, we now must now quote and unpack the repetition of the word “common” and demonstrate how this repetition is connected inextricably with Justice’s contrast of “cooperation” and “conflict.” Looking at our annotated version of the text, we see that the word “common” or “commons” is used 18 times by Justice. Referring to our lists, we see we have listed “commons” as a “New Word”; we have paired it with “cooperation” in our lists of “Similar Words”; and we have contrasted it with “private space” in our “Contrasts.” We can see through these repetitions that explaining the importance of “a commons” and then establishing language as one of the first examples of “a commons” is a driving force in Justice’s argument.