Ineliminable tension: a reply to Abizadeh and Gilabert’s ‘Is there a genuine tension between cosmopolitan egalitarianism and special responsibilities?’
- 126 Downloads
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)1—necessarily entails a commitment to the special relationships which form a central element of any individual’s well-being.2 Special relationships are, therefore, just one among the many “basic goods” that are essential to a flourishing human life (p. 354). Insofar as a genuine tension exists, it is a tension between general duties and special duties, bothof which arise from a commitment to equal moral worth. Abizadeh and Gilabert suggest that there are two...
KeywordsMoral Reason Special Responsibility Moral Duty Ordinary Language Positive Duty
The authors are grateful to Rahul Kumar, David Miller and Christine Straehle for helpful comments on an earlier version of this Reply. Margaret Moore is also grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for a grant in support of her research.
- Dworkin, R. (1986). Law’s empire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Ross, W. D. (1930). The right and the good. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [reprinted with same pagination by Hackett 1988].Google Scholar
- Scanlon, T. (2000). What we owe to each other. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Scheffler, S. (2001). Boundaries and allegiances. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Tamir, Y. (1993). Liberal nationalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Williams, B. (1985). Ethics and the limits of philosophy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar