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On the enforceability of poverty-related responsibilities

Burri, Susanne and Christie, Lars (2019) On the enforceability of poverty-related responsibilities. Ethics and Global Politics, 12 (1). pp. 68-75. ISSN 1654-4951

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Identification Number: 10.1080/16544951.2019.1565607

Abstract

We argue that even if an agent’s initial responsibilities are not very demanding, it can become permissible to burden her with significant costs if she culpably fails to discharge those responsibilities. In particular, we defend the claim that even if our responsibilities to assist others are not initially very demanding, our failure to live up to them can make us liable to possibly burdensome enforcement costs. Christian Barry and Gerhard Øverland (2016) disagree. They claim that other things equal, fewer costs may be imposed on an agent if she culpably fails to live up to her assistance-based responsibilities as opposed to her responsibilities not to contribute towards harm. Their thought is that our responsibilities to assist others are less demanding than our responsibilities not to contribute towards harm, and they assume that this asymmetry is matched by an asymmetry in the enforceability of the two types of responsibility. We agree with Barry and Øverland (2016) that our assistance-based responsibilities are less demanding than our contribution-based responsibilities. We argue that autonomy-based reasons support this asymmetry. Pace Barry and Øverland (2016), we claim that there is no reason to think that the two types of responsibility differ in their enforceability.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2019 09:03
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2020 02:44
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/100303

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