The Conflict Between Justice and Responsibility *

Samuel Scheffler

in Boundaries and Allegiances

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780199257676
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600197 | DOI:
 The Conflict Between Justice and Responsibility *

Show Summary Details


Members of affluent societies are often resistant to claims of global justice, and their resistance is frequently expressed in normative terms, in the claim that one has special responsibilities towards the members of one's family, community, or society. In this essay, Scheffler develops one argument, the distributive objection, which might be offered in support of claims of global justice and against the idea of special responsibilities. He then considers four possible responses to the distributive objection and concludes that the objection does not serve to invalidate all claims of special responsibility. Nevertheless, both the distributive objection and the idea of global justice are rooted in a commitment to the equal worth of persons, and the objection does demonstrate that the relationship between that commitment and the recognition of special responsibilities is more problematic than is often supposed.

Keywords: community; distributive objection; equal worth; family; global justice; norms; special responsibilities

Chapter.  7264 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.