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Political Philosophy on Universalism - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 230
Universalism/free trade/international realations/Political philosophy/Lamont: Libertarians argue that keeping trade barriers up in order to protect low wage workers in First World countries makes much poorer people in Third World countries worse off. The poorer people's liberty to engage in consensual trade with consumers in First World countries is restricted, thereby denying them an important means of improving their economic well-being (Lomasky, 2001)(1).
This issue arises as a result of technological advances that have overcome distance, leading to
economic globalization and with it the capacity of countries and corporations, through their policies and actions, dramatically to influence the freedom and well-being of people around the globe.
Singer: Peter Singer (2002)(2), for example, asks whether political leaders should see their role as promoting the interests of their own citizens or whether they should be concerned with the welfare of people everywhere.
Impartiality: This question is connected to the more general problem of partiality/impartiality in moral theory: are we morally permitted or even sometimes required to give priority to the interests of one's own citizens, or indeed to one's own family (Barry, 1995(3); Friedman, 1989(4); 1991(5))?
Pogge: Thomas Pogge argues from a position of moral universalism to the conclusion that the standard attitude of recognizing greater obligations to alleviate the conditions of the poor or oppressed at home than those of the poor abroad counts as arbitrary discrimination (Pogge, 2001 a(6); 2001 b(7); Jones, 1999(8)). In one form or another, this question is crucial for all distributive justice theories. Ever increasing globalization will require greater attention to this area of research in each of the theories (...).


1. Lomasky, Loren (2001) 'Toward a liberal theory of national boundaries'. In David Miller and Sohail Hashmi, eds, Boundaries and Justice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Umversity Press, 55-78.
2. Singer, Peter (2002) One World: The Ethics of Globalisation. Melbourne: Text.
3. Barry, Brian (1995) Justice as Impartiality. Oxford: Clarendon.
4. Friedman, Marilyn (1989) 'The impracticality of impartiality'. Journal of Philosophy, 86 (l l): 645-56.
5. Friedman, Marilyn (1991) 'The practice of partiality'. Ethics, 101 (4): 818-35. 6. Pogge 2001a
7. Pogge, Thomas (2001b) 'Global justice'. Metaphilosophy, 32 (1 and 2): 1-5.
8. Jones, Charles (1999) Global Justice: Defending Cosmopolitanism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lamont, Julian 2004. „Distributive Justice“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Political Philosophy
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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