Partiality and World Poverty

This paper begins with Peter Singer’s argument from utilitarianism that we should sacrifice anything we don’t need to relatively cheaply save lives in the Third World. It responds by arguing that utilitarianism is an incomplete moral system, for it requires us to view the world impartially and see each being as equally important, when we are necessarily partial to certain others (family, for example) because, among other things, we learn how to care for a starving boy thousands of miles away by first learning what caring means from those closer to us. It then concludes that a more complete way to describe our morality is to see it as a balance between our separate senses of partiality and impartiality, with Aristotle’s concept of moral judgment governing between the two.
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DOI 10.5840/pcw20071428
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