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Defending an Interconnected Ethical Account of Assistance

  • Susan P. Murphy
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Global Justice book series (JUST, volume 13)

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to provide a more comprehensive exposition of the approach that has emerged throughout this book as the most appropriate and practical guide for agents (donors and recipients, individual and collectives) in the practice of assistance within the contemporary circumstances of assistance, and to consider the objections that might be posed to this account. The following begins with an elaboration of what is here referred to as an interconnected ethical approach drawing upon an application of a Senian account of the imperfect duty to aid as a basic duty of justice. An elaboration of this approach points to the unavoidable interconnections between agents and our shared interdependencies; and also to the interconnections that link duties, action, and responsibility for outcomes as a source of further moral action. Rather than examining aid as a separate and stand-alone duty that has a clear cut-off point, this approach points to a moral landscape where responsible action entails inclusive engagement that may lead to further accumulative moral requirements. This normative argument carries a range of ethical implications for how acts of assistance should be practiced. It also sparks a number of potential objections, including the charge that this account misconstrues and over-burdens the idea of the duty to aid; and that the agential latitude entailed in the approach is problematic given the power asymmetries of the contexts of need. The following outlines the interconnected ethical approach that has emerged and the range of potential objections that this might prompt before turning to the implications for policy and practice in the final chapter.

Keywords

Distributive Justice Moral Duty Ethical Action Affluent State Potential Objection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan P. Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Natural SciencesTrinity College DublinDublin 2Ireland

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