Res Publica 22 (3):317-325 (2016)

Darrel Frank Moellendorf
Goethe University Frankfurt
In this paper I critically engage with Hennie Lötter’s impressive book, Poverty, Ethics and Justice. I discuss his conception of poverty, and offer an interpretation of his claim that poverty is a uniquely human scourge. I exam the various harms of poverty that Lötter discusses. I consider two reasons that he offers for why we have a moral duty to end poverty, and I argue that the reason based on what we can justify to others if we take their human dignity seriously is most compelling. Finally, I argue that Lötter overemphasizes of the moral importance of aid and downplays in the importance of the justice of institutional and structural change. I close by considering the prospects for social equality given our experience of capitalist development as a means for poverty eradication. I consider the moral importance of limits to the achievement of robust equality.
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DOI 10.1007/s11158-016-9329-y
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