Anthropogenic climate change is a global process affecting the lives and well-being of millions of people now and countless number of people in the future. For humans, the consequences may include significant threats to food security globally and regionally, increased risks of from food-borne and water-borne as well as vector-borne diseases, increased displacement of people due migrations, increased risks of violent conflicts, slowed economic growth and poverty eradication, and the creation of new poverty traps. Principles of justice are statements of (...) what persons are owed either by others or by institutions and policies. Climate change gives rise to many concern of justice. This article briefly summarizes some of the most important of these, including claims to have climate change mitigated, claims regarding the sharing of the costs of climate change mitigation, claims for investment into adaptation, and claims to be compensated. (shrink)
This book examines the threat that climate change poses to the projects of poverty eradication, sustainable development, and biodiversity preservation. It offers a careful discussion of the values that support these projects and a critical evaluation of the normative bases of climate change policy. This book regards climate change policy as a public problem that normative philosophy can shed light on. It assumes that the development of policy should be based on values regarding what is important to respect, preserve, and (...) protect. What sort of climate change policy do we owe the poor of the world who are particularly vulnerable to climate change? Why should our generation take on the burden of mitigating climate change that is caused, in no small part, by emissions from people now dead? What value is lost when natural species go extinct, as they may well do en masse because of climate change? This book presents a broad and inclusive discussion of climate change policy, relevant to those with interests in public policy, development studies, environmental studies, political theory, and moral and political philosophy. (shrink)
This article discusses two doctrines of jus ex bello concerning whether and how to end wars. In Section I, I defend the claim that there is a distinct morality of ending wars. Section II rebuts a challenge that the account is too permissive of war. Section III rejects a forward-looking conception of proportionality for jus ex bello. In Section IV, I allow an exception in cases in which the just cause for the war has changed. In Section V, I defend (...) five principles governing how to end a war. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that hope is best understood as a compound psychological state. When we take hope according to the details of this account, we are in a good position to understand why it is a political virtue of persons. I also argue that securing the institutional bases of hope is a virtue of state institutions, particularly in states in transition from severe injustice. And, finally, when the bases are secure, a person who fails to hope for the (...) political future is in that regard prima facie blameworthy. (shrink)
Abstract Currently the international community is discussing the regulatory framework to replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2012. The unveiling of the new framework is scheduled to occur at the December 2009 COP in Copenhagen. The stakes are high, since any treaty will affect the development prospects of per capita poor countries and will determine the climate change–related costs borne by poor people for centuries to come. Failure to arrive at an agreement would have grave effects on the development prospects of (...) poor countries, many of which will experience the most severe effects of climate change. The original UNFCCC treaty recognizes these kinds of concerns and requires that further treaty negotiation pay them heed. Any agreement will be required to conform to UNFCCC norms related to sustainable development and the equitable distribution of responsibilities. In this paper I argue that UNFCCC norms tightly constrain the range of acceptable agreements for the distribution of burdens to mitigate climate change. I conclude that any legitimate treaty must put much heavier mitigation burdens on industrialized developed countries. Of the various proposals that have received international attention, two in particular stand out as possibly satisfying UNFCCC norms regarding the distribution of responsibilities. (shrink)
This article discusses obstacles to overcoming dangerous climate change. It employs an account of dangerous climate change that takes climate change and climate change policy as dangerous if it imposes avoidable costs of poverty prolongation. It then examines plausible accounts of the collective action problems that seem to explain the lack of ambition to mitigate. After criticizing the merits of two proposals to overcome these problems, it discusses the pledge and review process. It argues that pledge and review possesses the (...) virtues of encouraging broad participation and of providing a procedural safeguard for the right of sustainable development. However, given the perceptions of the marginal short term costs of mitigation, pledge and review is unlikely, at least initially, to issue in an agreement to make deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Because there is no rival approach that seems likely to better instantiate the two virtues, pledge and review may be the best available policy for mitigation. Moreover, recent economic research suggests that the co-benefits of mitigation may be greater than previously assumed and that the costs of renewable energy may be less than previously calculated. This would radically undermine claims that the short term mitigation costs necessarily render mitigation irrational and produce collective action problems. Given the circumstances, pledge and review might be our best hope to avoid dangerous climate change. (shrink)
The principle of global equality of opportunity is an important part of the commitment to global egalitarianism. In this paper I discuss how a principle of global equality of opportunity follows from a commitment to equal respect for the autonomy of all persons, and defend the principle against some of the criticism that it has received. The particular criticisms that I address contend that a moral view based upon dignity and respect cannot take properties of persons—such as their citizenship—as morally (...) arbitrary, that any justification of what counts as equal opportunity sets must be based upon national cultural understandings, that a positive account of equality of opportunity cannot adequately handle the fact of value pluralism across the globe, and that the principle of equality of opportunity is incompatible with national self-determination. In the course of defending the principle of equality of opportunity from these criticisms, I make revisions to my previously published defense of the principle. (shrink)
Traditional Marxists hold that capitalist modes of production are unjustly exploitative. In 'Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality' G. A. Cohen argues that this ``exploitation charge'' commits traditional Marxists to the thesis that people own themselves (``self-ownership''). If so, then traditional Marxism is vulnerable to a libertarian challenge to its commitment to equality. Cohen, therefore, recommends that Marxists abandon the exploitation charge. This paper undermines Cohen's case for the alleged link between the exploitation charge and self-ownership primarily by defending an account of (...) the exploitation charge that does not involve self-ownership or compromise the Marxist commitment to equality. (shrink)
In the first part of this article, we considered how Thandi, a 15-year-old girl, was treated when taken by her mother to their GP, Dr Randera. Dr Randera notified them that Thandi was pregnant, HIV positive, and had syphilis and herpes. Dr Randera also informed them that there was a substantial risk that the baby would be born HIV positive. Both Thandi and her mother wanted an abortion. However, Dr Randera, who was morally opposed to abortions, refused to provide the (...) service and did not refer Thandi to another doctor who would perform the abortion.The saga continues:. (shrink)
The paper examines a reconstructed version of Hegel's "Encyclopedia" account of freedom of the will, and situates it as an attempt to respond to Kant. Hegel's implicit position is that certain forms of human activity, in particular the establishment of rights based polities, can best be explained in terms of free goal-directed activity. Furthermore, Hegel's account of the free will is shown to include elements of both self-determination and compatibilism.
Ten years on from the first issue of the Journal of Global Ethics, Darrel Moellendorf and Heather Widdows reflect on the current state of research in global ethics. To do this, they summarise a recent comprehensive road map of the field and provide a map of research by delineating the topics and approaches of leading scholars of global ethics collected together in the recently published Routledge Handbook of Global Ethics which they have co-edited. Topics fall under issues of war, conflict (...) and violence; poverty and development; economic justice; bioethics and health justice; and environmental and climate justice. In all these areas, ethicists are becoming ever more engaged in the details and mechanisms of actually delivering justice in the real world. (shrink)
In The Idea of Justice (2009), Amartya Sen distinguishes between ?transcendental institutional? approaches to justice and ?realization-focused comparisons,? rejecting the former and recommending the latter as a normative approach to global justice. I argue that Sen?s project fails for three principal reasons. First, he misdiagnoses the problem with accounts that he refers to as transcendental-institutionalist. The problem is not with these kinds of accounts per se, but with particular features of prominent approaches. Second, Sen?s realization-focus does not account well for (...) the value of institutions of global justice. And even Sen agrees that reforms to institutions are urgently needed. And third, the distinction between transcendentalism and comparative approaches is implausible. I close by suggesting a strategy for an alternative institutionalist approach that can offer the kind of guidance for reforming the global order that Sen rightly takes as urgent. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that respect for human dignity establishes a justificatory presumption in favor of egalitarian rules, which presumption is applicable to the global economic association. This is the basis for condemning several feature of current global inequality as unjust.
Habermas asserts that his discourse ethics rests on two main commitments: 1) Moral judgements have cognitive content analogous to truth value; and 2) moral justification requires real- life discourse. Habermas elaborates on the second claim by making actual consensus a necessary condition of normative validity. I argue that Habermas's two commitments sit uneasily together. The second entails that his cognitivism is revisionist in the sense that it must reject the law of the excluded middle. Moreover, Habermas's argument in defence of (...) the need for real- life discourse is unconvincing and his derivation of the principle which requires consensus is fallacious. (shrink)
I agree with Professor Miller that just war theory is limited when it comes to judging whether and how to end a war. But Miller fails to understand adequately what these limitations are and the extent to which they can be addressed within just war theory.
Habermas asserts that his discourse ethics rests on two main commitments: (1) Moral judgments have cognitive content analogous to truth value; and (2) moral justification requires real-life discourse. Habermas elaborates on the second claim by making actual consensus a necessary condition of normative validity. I argue that Habermas's two commitments sit uneasily together. The second entails that his cognitivism is revisionist in the sense that it must reject the law of the excluded middle. Moreover, Habermas's argument in defence of the (...) need for real-life discourse is unconvincing and his derivation of the principle which requires consensus is fallacious. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
This paper examines the UN provisions concerning the legitimate use of force, which justified the 1991 Gulf War, and Michael Walzer's arguments, which can be read as a justification of the UN provisions. After a brief historical sketch of the approach to internationalism of Marx, Lenin, and the early Bolshevik regime, alternative internationalist criteria of Jus ad Bellum are proposed, which assume certain forms of common oppression among peoples of different states. If certain forms of common oppression can be defended (...) (in the case of Marxist theory, exploitation and imperialism), and if one shares Walzer's concern for individual rights, then the internationalist criteria for Jus ad Bellum are morally superior to the UN's and Walzer's. (shrink)