International aid and the scope of kindness

Ethics 105 (1):99-127 (1994)
This paper argues that it is morally wrong for the affluent not to contribute money or time to famine relief. It begins by endorsing an important methodological line of objection against the most prominent philosophical advocate of this claim, Peter Singer. This objection attacks his strategy of invoking a principle the acceptability of which is apparently based upon its conformity with "intuitive" moral judgements in order to defend a strongly counterintuitive conclusion. However, what follows is an argument for that counterintuitive conclusion which claims to circumvent the methodological objection, and moreover without having to resort to a justificational ethical theory. How can this be done? Merely by appealing, it is maintained, to the simple practical considerations which are characteristic of the virtues of kindness and justice. Accordingly, an account of those virtues, outlining the structure of the practical reasoning of their possessors, occupies a central place in the argument. The paper displays the resources for normative argument of a "virtue ethics;" but it claims also that its conclusion cannot be escaped by the adherents of any plausible moral outlook. And this yields a further conclusion. All moral outlooks, and not only those which equate the moral point of view with the impartial point of view, face a "problem of demandingness" - for it seems to be a corollary of the argument that if one is to be living a life which is not immoral, one is precluded from pursuing practically any source of personal satisfaction.
Keywords aid  ethical theory  demandingness
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DOI 10.1086/293680
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Moral Free Riding.Garrett Cullity - 1995 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 24 (1):3-34.
Defusing the Demandingness Objection: Unreliable Intuitions.Matthew Braddock - 2013 - Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (2):169-191.
The Fallacy of Philanthropy.Paul Gomberg - 2002 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (1):29 - 65.
Charitable Organisations and the Rescue Principle.John M. Whelan Jr - 2004 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 7 (3):52-66.
Charitable Organisations and the Rescue Principle. Whelan Jr - 2004 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 7 (3):52-66.

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