International Aid: The Fair Shares Factor

Social Theory and Practice 30 (2):161-174 (2004)
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Some philosophers have argued that relatively affluent individuals are morally obligated to give nearly all of their money to aid agencies. In this paper, I discuss one objection – the Fair Shares Objection – to this claim. Most philosophers who discuss this objection dismiss it quickly, by invoking comparison cases in which it seems clear that the relevant notion of fair shares has no deontological significance. Those who press the objection, on the other hand, tend to give that notion a kind overriding significance, even at the risk of having to bite the bullet in the comparison cases. I argue that the arguments of both of these groups of philosophers are flawed, and that these flaws stem from a common cause: the failure to distinguish between two construals of the Fair Shares Objection. When we make this distinction, I argue, we see that the standard comparison cases have little bearing on the question of the strength of the Fair Shares Objection, on the stronger of its two construals, to the claim that I began with above.
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Fairness and Fair Shares.Keith Horton - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (1):88.

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