Basic Positive Duties of Justice and Narveson's Libertarian Challenge

Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (2):193-216 (2006)
Are positive duties to help others in need mere informal duties of virtue or can they also be enforceable duties of justice? In this paper I defend the claim that some positive duties (which I call basic positive duties) can be duties of justice against one of the most important prin- cipled objections to it. This is the libertarian challenge, according to which only negative duties to avoid harming others can be duties of justice, whereas positive duties (basic or nonbasic) must be seen, at best, as informal moral requirements or recommendations. I focus on the contractarian version of the libertarian challenge as recently presented by Jan Narveson. I claim that Narveson’s contractarian construal of libertarianism is not only intuitively weak, but is also subject to decisive internal problems. I argue, in particular, that it does not pro- vide a clear rationale for distinguishing between informal duties of virtue and enforceable duties of justice, that it can neither successfully justify libertarianism’s protection of negative rights nor its denial of positive ones, and that it fails to undermine the claim that basic positive duties are duties of global justice.
Keywords global justice  distributive justice  libertarianism  narveson  contractarianism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2006.tb00098.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Confining Pogge's Analysis of Global Poverty to Genuinely Negative Duties.Steven Daskal - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):369-391.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Contractualism and Poverty Relief.Pablo Gilabert - 2007 - Social Theory and Practice 33 (2):277-310.
Libertarianism.Peter Vallentyne - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Comentarios Sobre la Concepcion de la Justicia Global de Pogge.Pablo Gilabert - 2007 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia 33 (2):205-222.
Kant and the Claims of the Poor.Pablo Gilabert - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):382-418.
The Duty to Eradicate Global Poverty: Positive or Negative?Pablo Gilabert - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5):537-550.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
956 ( #1,037 of 2,210,291 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
97 ( #1,729 of 2,210,291 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature