Cosmopolitanism: a defence

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 5 (3):86-91 (2002)
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David Miller is right that weak cosmopolitanism is undistinctive and strong cosmopolitanism implausibly curtails associative duties. But there are intermediate views that avoid both of these problems. One such view holds that compatriotism makes no difference to our most important negative duties and that among these is the duty not to impose unjust social institutions upon other human beings. On this view, our duty not to impose an unjust institutional order on foreigners is exactly as stringent as our duty not to impose an unjust institutional order upon our compatriots. This view is not trivial; it has important consequences for our moral responsibilities in the world as it is. And it is compatible with associative duties insofar as these increase what we owe to some without decreasing what we owe to persons at large



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Thomas W. Pogge
Yale University

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