Philosophical Studies

, 146:399 | Cite as

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

  • Patti Tamara LenardEmail author
  • Margaret R. Moore

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...


Moral Reason Special Responsibility Moral Duty Ordinary Language Positive Duty 
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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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social StudiesHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Queen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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