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Singer Revisited: Cosmopolitanism, Global Poverty and Our Ethical Requirements

Lenferna, Mr G. Alexandre (2010) Singer Revisited: Cosmopolitanism, Global Poverty and Our Ethical Requirements. [Journal (Paginated)] (In Press)

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Abstract

A commonly held view is that giving to the poor is superogatory i.e. that while it is a good thing to do, it is not morally wrong for us not to do so. This essay sets out to show that for the affluent in the world giving to the poor is not superogatory but is rather a moral obligation. The paper critiques Singer’s famous argument in ‘Famine, Affluence and Morality’ and finds that although the argument is a cogent and powerful one, Singer, when trying to apply the argument to how we should act, somewhat skews the argument’s real implications. Furthermore it is argued that a cosmopolitan concern for the global poor is the morally correct response to have, and defends this view by examining the proper effect that that aspects like geographical distance, nationality, reciprocity, and the nature of the global economic system should have on our moral considerations. In conclusion it is argued that as the way that each person spends his/her money is a reflection of what he/she values, then for many of us in positions of affluence, in order to be moral, much more should be done in order to help those experiencing dire, life-threatening poverty across the globe.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Subjects:Philosophy > Ethics
JOURNALS > South African Journal of Philosophy
ID Code:6859
Deposited By:Lenferna, Mr G.Alexandre
Deposited On:01 Jul 2010 02:23
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:57

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