Impartiality in Moral and Political Philosophy

Oxford University Press (2002)
The debate between impartialists and their critics has dominated both moral and political philosophy for over a decade. Characteristically, impartialists argue that any sensible form of impartialism can accommodate the partial concerns we have for others. By contrast, partialists deny that this is so. They see the division as one which runs exceedingly deep and argue that, at the limit, impartialist thinking requires that we marginalise those concerns and commitments that make our lives meaningful. This book attempts to show both that the dispute between impartialists and their critics runs very deep, and that it can nonetheless be resolved. The resolution begins by asking how impartialist political philosophy can defend the priority of justice when it conflicts with people's commitments to their conceptions of the good. It is argued that priority can only defended if political impartialism has a moral foundation, and that moral foundation must not be a foundation in the ideal of equality (as is often thought), but a foundation in the partial concerns we have for others. In short, impartialist moral philosophy must take our partial concerns as central if it is to gain allegiance. However, if it does take our partial concerns as central, then it can generate a defence of political impartialism which shows why justice must take priority, but which also acknowledges that pluralism about the good is permanent.
Keywords Justice  Fairness  Political science Philosophy  Ethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2003
Buy the book $36.69 used (71% off)   $118.45 new (6% off)   $125.00 direct from Amazon    Amazon page
Call number JC578.M437 2002
ISBN(s) 0198297815   9780198297819  
 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
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,692
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Agency and Surprise: Learning at the Limits of Empathic-Imagination and Liberal Egalitarian Political Philosophy.Steven Smith - 2008 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 11 (1):25-40.
Civic and Cosmopolitan Friendship.Kerri Woods - 2013 - Res Publica 19 (1):81-94.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

35 ( #145,246 of 2,158,407 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #354,697 of 2,158,407 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums