"The accident of where one is born is just that, an accident; any human being might have been born in any nation"
Martha Nussbaum, 'Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism' in For Love of Country (Beacon Press, 2002)

Monday, 11 February 2008

ALSP 08 Abstract

The abstract for my paper for ALSP is reproduced below:

In recent work (National Responsibility and Global Justice 2007) David Miller has proposed a system of global basic rights, argued for via a humanitarian strategy, focusing on basic human needs. His position however remains non-cosmopolitan; he remains committed to strong national responsibility and social (rather than global) justice. His theory of social justice (Principles of Social Justice 1999) is pluralistic; he argues that there are three different principles of justice which apply within three different modes of relationship. One of these is the principle of need, which applies within solidaristic communities. Miller argues that need as a principle of justice is only feasible within such communities because they provide the necessary practical conception of need. This paper will explore the relationship between Miller's views in these two books. I will suggest that Miller's use of needs to underpin his system of basic rights might indicate that he is in some way committed to there being a global solidaristic community. If this were the case then it would provide ammunition for cosmopolitanism. I will suggest a way of reply for Miller, which will utilise his distinction between basic needs and societal needs to show how he might deny the existence of a global solidaristic community.

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