Rich Man, Poor Man: Prosperity, Poverty, And The Significance Of Need
: In this work, I investigate the moral import of preventable human neediness. Specifically, I am concerned with the issue of how the world's relatively well-off ought to live, given that they must do so against a pervasive background of poverty. Traditionally, this question is posed in a quantitative guise: How much must one give to poverty relief? How much can one be expected to sacrifice for the sake of helping others? While these are important questions, I argue that we can only find adequate answers to these "how much?" questions in the context of "how so?" questions that have been largely neglected in the literature. How should we see ourselves in relation to those stricken by poverty? What significance should we ascribe to the satisfaction of basic human needs? I argue that the answers to these questions present us with a moral landscape more nuanced than it appears to those who argue for a very demanding duty of aid. Once we get a handle on these nuances, we can see that basic human needs have a dual significance which informs a duty of beneficence more moderate than that described by those who regard potential benefactors as rescuers and those who believe that facts about the effects of material deprivation and personal sacrifice exhaust the space of morally relevant considerations.
Poverty; Ethics; Beneficence
Sturgeon,Nicholas Lee; Pereboom,Derk
Ph. D., Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis