David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Corporate Responsibility Series 4:17-33 (2009)
John Rawls defines “primary social goods” to be the benefits of social co-operation that are valuable no matter what one’s life-plan. The benefit for international trade of talking in terms of primary goods is that such goods represent a fixed or standard rate, and thus facilitate efficient negotiation. The difficulty, however, is that such discussions appear to ignore, and thereby do violence to, significant cross-cultural value differences. I argue that an appropriate view of Rawlsian primary goods helps to facilitate inter-subjective agreement about what constitutes an advantage to the least advantaged. I illustrate this in a case study of the PT Freeport mining operations in Papua New Guinea
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