, Volume 146, Issue 3, pp 399-405
Date: 27 Sep 2008

Ineliminable tension: a reply to Abizadeh and Gilabert’s ‘Is there a genuine tension between cosmopolitan egalitarianism and special responsibilities?’

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For Arash Abizadeh and Pablo Gilabert, it is a mistake to assert a genuine tension, as does Samuel Scheffler in his influential account of associative duties, between the cosmopolitan commitment to equal moral worth and the duties that are said to derive from special relationships. Rather, a commitment to equal moral worth—which entails, variously, “the general ideal of equal treatment” (p. 354), a recognition of “the equal value of each person’s well-being” (p. 357), and a “respect for the well-being of each human being” (p. 357)

Unless noted otherwise, page numbers refer to the original article, Abizadeh and Gilabert (2008).

—necessarily entails a commitment to the special relationships which form a central element of any individual’s well-being.

Although we do not make much of this ambiguity here, it should be clear that each of these articulations of what is entailed by a commitment to equal moral worth will give rise to quite distinct requirements. As we suggest later, this ambiguity ...