Nationalism is often dismissed today as an irrational political creed with disastrous consequences. Yet most people regard their national identity as a significant aspect of themselves, see themselves as having special obligations to their compatriots, and value their nation's political independence. This book defends these beliefs, and shows that nationality, defined in these terms, serves valuable goals, including social justice, democracy, and the protection of culture. National identities need not be illiberal, and they do not exclude other sources of personal (...) identity, such as ethnicity or religion. An ethics that gives weight to special relationships is more effective in motivating people to pursue justice and other values because it connects peoples’ duties to their identity; but this is consistent with recognizing some universal values, such as human rights. There are strong reasons for making the boundaries of states and nations coincide wherever possible, but in other cases, nations can achieve forms of self‐determination that fall short of full sovereignty. Multicultural arguments in favour of identity politics and special rights for minority groups ignore the benefits that such groups derive from participating in a shared national identity and the kind of democratic politics that such an identity makes possible. Although national identities are often said to be in decline in an increasingly globalized world, they serve such important purposes that our aim should be to rebuild them in a form that makes them more accessible to excluded cultural minorities. (shrink)
This article by David Miller is widely considered a standard defense of the (once) conventional view on immigration restrictionism, namely that (liberal) states generally have free authority to restrict immigration, save for a few exceptions.
This chapter outlines the main ideas of my book National responsibility and global justice. It begins with two widely held but conflicting intuitions about what global justice might mean on the one hand, and what it means to be a member of a national community on the other. The first intuition tells us that global inequalities of the magnitude that currently exist are radically unjust, while the second intuition tells us that inequalities are both unavoidable and fair once national responsibility (...) is allowed to operate. This conflict might be resolved either by adopting a cosmopolitan theory of justice (which leaves no room for national responsibility) or by adopting a ?political? theory of justice (which denies that questions of distributive justice can arise beyond the walls of the sovereign state). Since neither resolution is satisfactory, the chapter defends the idea of national responsibility and proposes a new theory of global justice, whose main elements are the protection of basic human rights worldwide, and fair terms of interaction between independent political communities. (shrink)
This article attacks the view that global justice should be understood in terms of a global principle of equality. The principle mainly discussed is global equality of opportunity – the idea that people of similar talent and motivation should have equivalent opportunity sets no matter to which society they belong. I argue first that in a culturally plural world we have no neutral way of measuring opportunity sets. I then suggest that the most commonly offered defences of global egalitarianism – (...) the cosmopolitan claim that human lives have equal value, the argument that a persons nationality is a morally arbitrary characteristic, and the more empirical claim that relationships among fellow-nationals are no longer special in a way that matters for justice – are all defective. If we fall back on the idea of equality as a default principle, then we have to recognize that pursuing global equality of opportunity systematically would leave no space for national self-determination. Finally, I ask whether global inequality might be objectionable for reasons independent of justice, and argue that the main reason for concern is the inequalities of power that are likely to emerge in a radically unequal world. (shrink)
Abizadeh has argued that because border controls coerce would-be immigrants and invade their autonomy, they are entitled to participate in the democratic institutions that impose those controls. In reply, the author distinguishes between coercion and prevention, shows that prevention need not undermine autonomy, and concludes that although border controls may restrict freedom, they do not give rise to democratic entitlements.
Ethical theories normally make room both for global duties to human beings everywhere and special duties to those we are attached to in some way. Such a split-level view requires us to specify the kind of attachment that can ground special duties, and to explain the comparative force of the two kinds of duties in cases of conflict. Special duties are generated within groups that are intrinsically valuable and not inherently unjust, where the duties can be shown to be integral (...) to relationships within the group. Since nations can be shown to meet these conditions, acknowledging special obligations towards compatriots is justified. However for such partiality to be reasonable, it must be balanced against recognition of duties of global justice. These duties include duties to respect human rights and duties of fairness towards non-nationals. Weighing such duties against domestic duties of social justice is not a simple task, and the outcome should depend on the precise specification of the duty at stake. In particular, the duty to respect human rights fragments into four sub-duties whose force when set against local duties is markedly different. (shrink)
This paper examines the idea of human rights, and how they should be justified. It begins by reviewing Peter Jones?s claim that the purpose of human rights is to allow people from different cultural backgrounds to live together as equals, and suggests that this by itself provides too slender a basis. Instead it proposes that human rights should be grounded on human needs. Three difficulties with this proposal are considered. The first is the problem of whether needs are sufficiently objective (...) for this purpose, to which it responds by drawing a distinction between human needs proper and societal needs. The second is the problem of overshoot: human needs are more expansive than human rights. It responds to this by arguing that where needs conflict, we make trade-offs before specifying the optimum set of human rights. The third is the problem of undershoot: needs cannot be used to ground civil and political rights. Here it suggests that some of these rights can be grounded directly in needs, others can be justified instrumentally, and yet others grounded in the human need for recognition. Finally the paper returns to Jones, and asks which approach to human rights is better able to justify them within both liberal and non-liberal cultures. (shrink)
This paper contrasts universalist approaches to justice with contextualist approaches. Universalists hold that basic principles of justice are invariant they apply in every circumstance in which questions of justice arise. Contextualists hold that different principles apply in different contexts, and that there is no underlying master principle that applies in all. The paper argues that universalists cannot explain why so many different theories of justice have been put forward, nor why there is so much diversity in the judgements that (...) ordinary people make. Several strategies open to universalists are considered and found to be wanting. Contextualism is defended against the charge that it cannot explain why contextually specific principles are all principles of justice, the charge that it can offer no practical guidance when principles conflict, and the charge that it inevitably collapses into a form of conventionalism. Key Words: justice universalism contextualism conventionalism Rawls Walzer. (shrink)
This book explores the various aspects of social justice--to each according to his rights, to each acording to his desert, and to each according to his need--comparing the writings of Hume, Spencer, and Kropotkin. Miller demonstrates that there are radical differences in outlook on social justice between societies, and that these differences can be explained by reference to features of the social structure.
Galileo’s telescopic lunar observations, announced in Siderius Nuncius (1610), were a triumph of observational skill and ingenuity. Yet, unlike the Medicean stars, Galileo’s lunar “discoveries” were not especially novel. Indeed, Plutarch had noted the moon’s uneven surface in classical times, and many other renaissance observers had also turned their gaze moonward, even (in Harriot’s case) aided by telescopes of their own. Moreover, what Galileo and his contemporaries saw was colored by the assumptions they already had. Copernicans assumed the moon was (...) a terrestrial satellite, thus Galileo saw its mountains and Kepler “saw” the dwellings of its inhabitants. Aristotelians assumed the moon was a perfect sphere, so they saw differences in density and rarity in the lunar body. Theory corrected the results of observation, so Galileo’s lunar observations, like those that had come before, proved nothing. Yet this failure contained the germ of Galileo’s success, since the Siderius Nuncius gave observation a rhetorical force it did not have before. Observers on all sides set out to see for themselves what Galileo reported. Hence, all parties now had to answer to what they saw, whatever they believed. Thus, the Siderius Nuncius ultimately changed the grounds upon which natural philosophical argument and debate was carried out. In this new empirical arena, the Galilean science would eventually prevail. (shrink)
Legitimate states have a general right to control their borders and decide who to admit as future citizens. Such decisions, however, are constrained by principles of justice. But which principles? To answer this we have to analyse the multifaceted relationships that may hold between states and prospective immigrants, distinguishing on the one hand between those who are either inside or outside the state’s territory, and on the other between refugees, economic migrants and ‘particularity claimants’. The claims of refugees, stemming from (...) their human rights, are powerful though limited in scope: they hold against eligible states generally rather than the specific one to which they apply for asylum. Economic migrants cannot claim a right to be admitted as such, but only a right to have legitimate selection criteria applied to them. Particularity claimants, such as those seeking redress for harms inflicted on them or reward for the services they have rendered to the state, must show why awarding a right to enter is the appropriate response to their claims. Finally, does justice enable us to establish admission priorities between these different categories of migrants? (shrink)
In order to measure the degree of dissimilarity between elements of a Boolean algebra, the author’s proposed to use pseudometrics satisfying generalizations of the usual axioms for identity. The proposal is extended, as far as is feasible, from Boolean algebras to Brouwerian algebras. The relation between Boolean and Brouwerian geometries of logic turns out to resemble in a curious way the relation between Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries of physical space. The paper ends with a brief consideration of the problem of (...) the metrization of the algebra of theories. (shrink)
My object in this paper is to defend the view that national boundaries may be ethically significant. The duties we owe to our compatriots may be more extensive than the duties we owe to strangers, simply because they are compatriots. On the face of it, such a view is hardly outlandish. On the contrary almost all of us, including our leaders, behave as though it were self-evidently true. We do not, for instance, hesitate to introduce welfare measures on the grounds (...) that their benefits will be enjoyed only by Americans, or Britons, or whomever. Why, then, is it worth defending this view at length? Precisely because there is a powerful thrust in the ethical theories that are most prominent in our culture toward what I shall call universalism: namely, the view that the subject matter of ethics is persons considered merely as such, independent of all local connections and relations; and that the fundamental questions of ethics can be posed in some such form as: What duties do I owe to my fellow human beings? What rights do they have against me?'. (shrink)
Can we conceive of a market economy that fulfils the ideals of socialism? In this book, David Miller provides a comprehensive examination, from the standpoint of political theory, of an economy in which market mechanisms retain a central role, but in which capitalist patterns of ownership have been superseded.
Contesting the common opinion that, unlike the problem of induction, the problem of demarcation is of little significance, the paper maintains that Popper’s criterion of falsifiability gives an irresistible answer to the question of what can be learnt from an empirical investigation. Everything follows from the rejection of inductive logic, together with the recognition that, before it can be empirically investigated, a hypothesis has to be formulated and accepted. Scientific hypotheses emerge neither a posteriori, as inductivists hold, nor from some (...) immaculate a priori source, but from sheer guesswork. Empiricists who reject apriorism have therefore enlisted too zealously in the unphilosophical ranks of epistemological naturalism. The paper concludes with a summary of Popper’s objectivism, and with brief responses to some fashionable arguments that objective truth is not an attainable objective.RésuméContestant l’opinion commune selon laquelle le problème de la démarcation, contrairement au problème de l’induction, est relativement anecdotique, l’article soutient que le critère poppérien de falsifiabilité donne une réponse irrésistible à la question de savoir ce qui peut être appris d’une investigation empirique. Tout découle du rejet de la logique inductive, joint à la reconnaissance du fait que, avant d’être investiguée, une hypothèse doit être formulée et acceptée. Les hypothèses scientifiques n’émergent ni a posteriori comme les inductivistes le soutiennent, ni de quelque immaculée source a priori : elles sont des conjectures pures et simples. Les empiristes qui rejettent l’apriorisme ont donc rejoint trop rapidement les rangs non philosophiques du naturalisme épistémologique. L’article conclut par un résumé de l’objectivisme popperien et par de brèves réponses à certains arguments à la mode selon lesquels la vérité objective n’est pas un objectif atteignable. (shrink)
Cosmopolitanism, originally a doctrine of world citizenship, has come in recent political philosophy to mean simply an ethical outlook in which every human being is equally an object of moral concern. However ethical cosmopolitans slide from this moral truism to deny, controversially, that as agents we have special duties of limited scope. Political communities create relations of reciprocity between their citizens and pursue projects that reflect culturally specific values and beliefs, generating special duties among fellow-members. Strong cosmopolitanism would require the (...) creation of a world government, and this could only be an imperialist project in which existing cultural differences were either nullified or privatised. (shrink)
This article argues that there is no human right to cross borders without impediment. Receiving states, however, must recognize the procedural rights of those unable to protect their human rights in the place where they currently reside. Asylum claims must be properly investigated, and in the event that the state declines to admit them as refugees, it must ensure that the third country to which they are transferred can protect their rights. Both procedural and substantive rights apply while refugees are (...) physically present in the state’s territory and their immigration status is being investigated. The state’s obligation to protect these rights arises from the power it exercises over them. In contrast, the state does not exercise equivalent power over those it declines to admit in the first place, even though its immigration criteria – if discriminatory in the negative sense – can be faulted on other grounds. Beneath these arguments lie two basic assumptions: one is the need to separate human rights claims from other claims of justice, especially those deriving from citizenship; the other is the need to determine who bears the obligations that correspond to these rights. Attention to the different relations in which prospective immigrants may stand toward the state they hope to enter can help us understand how border regimes may comply with, or violate, human rights. (shrink)
_ Source: _Page Count 21 The paper begins by locating the issue of trade within the broader literature on international and global justice. It then sets out eight different conceptions of ‘fair trade’, and examines the principles that lie behind them. They fall into three broad categories: _procedural fairness_ accounts, which apply principles of equal treatment to the international rules under which trade takes place; _producers’ entitlement_ accounts, which claim that trade must be structured so that all participants are safeguarded (...) against harms such as exploitation or poverty; and _fair exchange_ accounts, which require trade to be conducted on terms that produce a particular division of resources or benefits between the trading partners. These conceptions are partly complementary, but may on occasion pull in different directions, requiring us to reflect on the relative weights we attach to different aspects of fairness in trade. (shrink)
Newton’s argument for universal gravitation in the Principia eventually rested on the third “Rule of Philosophizing,” which warrants the generalization of “qualities of bodies.” An analysis of the rule and the history of its development indicate that the term ‘quality’ should be taken to include both inherent properties of bodies and relations among systems of bodies, generalized into `laws'. By incorporating law‐induction into the rule, Newton could legitimately rebuff objections to his theory by claiming that universal gravitation was justified by (...) his method even if he could not specify the cause of gravity . †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Duke University, 201 West Duke Building, Box 90743, Durham, NC 27708; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Michael Walzer has argued that `distributive justice presupposes a bounded world', but what counts as a relevant boundary? The article criticizes two arguments holding that boundaries should not count at all: a negative argument that there is no relevant difference between human relationships within and across state borders and a positive argument that principles of justice must, as a matter of logic, be universal in scope. It then examines three rival accounts of the bounded scope of distributive justice : the (...) cooperative practice view, the political coercion view, and the common identity view. Although each has plausible arguments to support it, none turns out to give necessary and sufficient conditions for principles of distributive justice to apply. Importantly, however, the idea of social justice has emerged within political units that to a large extent combine the three features in question. To the extent that this overlap breaks down, we will need to develop new theories of transnational justice. (shrink)