Good samaritans, good humanitarians

Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (3):238–254 (2007)

Authors
Scott James
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Abstract
Duties of beneficence are not well understood. Peter Singer has argued that the scope of beneficence should not be restricted to those who are, in some sense, near us. According to Singer, refusing to contribute to humanitarian relief efforts is just as wrong as refusing to rescue a child drowning before you. Most people do not seem convinced by Singer’s arguments, yet no one has offered a plausible justification for restricting the scope of beneficence that doesn’t produce counterintuitive results elsewhere. I offer a defence of this restricted scope by introducing the notion of unique dependence, a notion that is both intuitively attractive and theoretically grounded. It explains why your reason to rescue the drowning child is more stringent than your reason to contribute to humanitarian relief, while blocking the conclusion that we have no reason at all to aid distant sufferers .
Keywords beneficence  Peter Singer  Kant
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-5930.2007.00378.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,566
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Alienation, Consequentialism, and the Demands of Morality.Peter Railton - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (2):134-171.
Moral Saints.Susan Wolf - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (8):419-439.
Respect and the Second-Person Standpoint.Stephen Darwall - 2004 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 78 (2):43 - 59.
How to Be Responsible for Something Without Causing It.Carolina Sartorio - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):315–336.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
56 ( #131,027 of 2,325,374 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #694,967 of 2,325,374 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature