Cosmopolis, Nation States, and Families

John Finnis

in Intention and Identity

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580064
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729386 | DOI:
Cosmopolis, Nation States, and Families

Show Summary Details


This chapter presents a fragment of a 2008 essay, whose other parts are in Volume I as Chapter 5 and Volume V as Chapter 8. This chapter asks why it can be right to discriminate between persons at the national border, allowing citizens in and keeping all or many others (would-be immigrants) out. Why did Rawls decline to apply his ‘difference principle’ in favour of the worst-off people in the world (as a cosmopolitan ethics demands), rather than in our community (nation state)? The arguments of Rawls and John Paul II about the grounds and value of national identity are examined. A final section argues that analogous considerations apply to families, and therefore also to marriage, which is a basic human good.

Keywords: Rawls; John Paul II; cosmopolitan ethics; nations; borders; families; marriage; immigration

Chapter.  4432 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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.