Individuals and the Demands of Justice in Nonideal Circumstances

Social Theory and Practice 40 (3):388-408 (2014)


Ought some individuals be required to do more to combat injustice simply because others have done less? My thesis in this paper is that in order to answer thisquestion in a theoretically compelling manner, it is necessary to distinguish the social obligations that citizens have towards one another in virtue of their institutional ties or special relationships from the natural duties that all persons share simply in virtue of their status as equal moral agents. What justice demands of individuals in nonideal circumstances will ultimately depend, I argue, on the comparative scope or range of application of these two different types of moral requirement

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Michael Kates
Saint Joseph's University of Pennsylvania

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