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Humanity or justice?

journal contribution
posted on 2011-12-01, 00:00 authored by Stan Van HooftStan Van Hooft
This paper reflects on a critique of cosmopolitanism mounted by Tom Campbell, who argues that cosmopolitans place undue stress on the issue of global justice. Campbell argues that aid for the impoverished needy in the third world, for example, should be given on the Principle of Humanity rather than on the Principle of Justice. This line of thought is also pursued by ‘Liberal Nationalists’ like Yael Tamir and David Miller. Thomas Nagel makes a similar distinction and questions whether the ideal of justice can even be meaningfully applied on a global scale. The paper explores whether the distinction between the Principle of Humanity and the Principle of Justice might be a false dichotomy in that both principles could be involved in humanitarian assistance. It will suggest that both principles might be grounded in an ethics of caring and that the ethics of caring cannot be so sharply distinguished from the discourse of justice and of rights. As a result, the Principle of Humanity and the Principle of Justice cannot be so sharply distinguished either. It is because we care about others as human beings (Principle of Humanity) that we pursue justice for them (Principle of Justice) and the alleviation of their avoidable suffering.

History

Journal

Journal of global ethics

Volume

7

Issue

3

Pagination

291 - 302

Publisher

Routledge

Location

Abingdon, England

ISSN

1744-9626

eISSN

1744-9634

Language

eng

Notes

This article was also published as : Humanity or Justice?, Citizenship and globalisation research papers, 2010, no. 1, pp. 27-50.

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, Taylor & Francis

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