Skip to main content

Beneficence, Principle of

  • Reference work entry
  • 206 Accesses

The principle of beneficence forms a part of almost all major moral and ethical theories. The principle gives rise to a normative agent-based claim that one (an agent) should act for the benefit of, or for the good of, another (or others). The term benevolence refers to the character trait of an agent acting for the good of another. The basic concept of beneficence, as an action performed by one person for the benefit of another, is broadly accepted as a rational, cultural, or religious imperative. The source of this moral claim differs across moral, religious, ethical, and cultural traditions. Also, there is little consensus across these traditions on the scope and content of the duties that can be derived from this claim. The following will firstly provide an overview of the nature of the principle of beneficence; secondly, it will outline the source, scope, and content of this principle in the two dominant moral theories of the Western secular philosophical tradition –...

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_219
  • Chapter length: 4 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   679.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-1-4020-9160-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   699.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

References

  • Arneson R (2004) Moral limits on the demands of beneficence. In: Chatterjee D (ed) The ethics of assistance: morality and the distant needy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 33–58

    Google Scholar 

  • Ashford E (2007) The duties imposed by the human right to basic necessities. In: Pogge T (ed) Freedom from poverty as a human right: who owes what to the very poor? Oxford University Press, New York, pp 183–218

    Google Scholar 

  • Beauchamp T (2008) The principle of beneficence in applied ethics. In: Stanford encyclopaedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/principle-beneficence/

  • Caney S (2005) Justice beyond borders. Oxford University Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Caney S (2007) Global poverty and human rights: the case for positive duties. In: Pogge T (ed) Freedom from poverty as a human right: who owes what to the very poor? Oxford University Press, New York, pp 275–302

    Google Scholar 

  • Chatterjee D (ed) (2004) The ethics of assistance: morality and the distant needy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Metz T (2007) Toward an African moral theory. J Polit Philos 15(3):321–341

    Google Scholar 

  • Miller R (2004a) Beneficence, duty, and distance. Philos Public Aff 32(4):357–383

    Google Scholar 

  • Miller R (2004b) Moral closeness and world community. In: Chatterjee D (ed) The ethics of assistance: morality and the distant needy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 101–122

    Google Scholar 

  • Miller D (2007) National responsibility and global justice. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Murphy L (1993) The demands of beneficence. Philos Public Aff 22(4):267–292

    Google Scholar 

  • O'Neill O (1996) Towards justice and virtue. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • O'Neill O (2004) Global justice: whose obligations? In: Chatterjee D (ed) The ethics of assistance: morality and the distant needy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Pogge T (ed) (2001) Global justice. Blackwell, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Pogge T (2004) Assisting the global poor. In: Chatterjee D (ed) The ethics of assistance: morality and the distant needy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Pogge T (2007) Severe poverty as a human rights violation. In: Pogge T (ed) Freedom from poverty as a human right: who owes what to the very poor? Oxford University Press, New York, pp 11–54

    Google Scholar 

  • Singer P (1972) Famine, affluence, and morality. Philos Public Aff 1(1):229–243

    Google Scholar 

  • Singer P (2004) Outsiders: our obligations to those beyond our borders. In: Chatterjee D (ed) The ethics of assistance: morality and the distant needy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 11–32

    Google Scholar 

  • Singer P (2009) The life you can save. Picador, London

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

About this entry

Cite this entry

Murphy, S.P. (2011). Beneficence, Principle of. In: Chatterjee, D.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Global Justice. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_219

Download citation