Justice to Charity: LOREN E. LOMASKY

Social Philosophy and Policy 12 (2):32-53 (1995)


Despite what one may be led to believe by breathless reports in the media, the acme of misery in America is not the woes, financial and otherwise, of Donald Trump and Michael Jackson. People lose their jobs, have their assets drained by reversals of fortune, suffer from illiteracy, malnutrition, lack of shelter, and other mishaps. The circumstances in which they find themselves are genuinely distressing. It would be an odd understanding indeed that failed to find these circumstances directly relevant to what morality asks of us. If morality is to count for anything, then surely it must take notice of exigent need. This is not merely the deliverance of a late twentieth-century Western moral consciousness massaged by the blessings of comparative affluence and graced with a newfound awareness of social justice. All traditional ethical codes of which I am aware, sacred and secular, demand that one take the distress of one's neighbor as bearing on one's own activities. “Am I my brother's keeper?” is the question; the well-nigh universal answer is “ Yes .” The disposition to be moved by and respond to distress is the virtue of charity

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,660

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

16 (#671,430)

6 months
1 (#388,311)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Similar books and articles

Author's Profile

Loren Lomasky
University of Virginia

References found in this work

Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Morals by Agreement.David Copp - 1986 - Philosophical Review 98 (3):411-414.
Justice and Charity.Allen Buchanan - 1987 - Ethics 97 (3):558-575.
Persons, Rights and the Moral Community.Jeffrey Paul & Loren Lomasky - 1990 - Philosophical Review 99 (3):455.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

Sufficientarian-Libertarianism and Basic Income.Akio Fukuhara - 2019 - Revue de Philosophie Économique 1 (1):35-61.

Add more citations