The duty to eradicate global poverty: Positive or negative?

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5):537-550 (2005)
In World Poverty and Human Rights, Thomas Pogge argues that the global rich have a duty to eradicate severe poverty in the world. The novelty of Pogges approach is to present this demand as stemming from basic commands which are negative rather than positive in nature: the global rich have an obligation to eradicate the radical poverty of the global poor not because of a norm of beneficence asking them to help those in need when they can at little cost to themselves, but because of their having violated a principle of justice not to unduly harm others by imposing on them a coercive global order that makes their access to the objects of their human right to subsistence insecure. In this paper, I claim that although Pogge is right in arguing that negative duties are crucial in an account of global justice, he is wrong in saying that they are the only ones that are crucial. Harming the global poor by causing their poverty provides a sufficient but not a necessary condition for the global rich to have a duty of justice to assist them. After engaging in a critical analysis of Pogges argument, I conclude by suggesting the need for a robust conception of cosmopolitan solidarity that includes positive duties of assistance which are not mere duties of charity, but enforceable ones of justice.
Keywords cosmopolitanism  duties  global justice  human rights  Pogge  poverty  solidarity
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10677-005-6489-9
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,664
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Thomas Pogge (2005). World Poverty and Human Rights. Ethics and International Affairs 19 (1):1–7.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Matthias Fritsch (2012). Derrida on the Death Penalty. Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (s1):56-73.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

363 ( #6,318 of 1,902,964 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #219,664 of 1,902,964 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.