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Comparing the Moral Weight of Global Versus Domestic Poverty

Comparing the Moral Weight of Global Versus Domestic Poverty
15 Devonshire Place, Room 200
Time: Sep 11th, 4:00 pm End: Sep 4th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: United States Studies, Sociology (FAS), Philosophy (UTSC), Philosophy (UTM), Philosophy (FAS), Human Geography (UTSC), Geography & Planning (FAS), Ethics, Diaspora/Transnational, Anthropology (UTSC), Anthropology (UTM), Anthropology (FAS), 2000-
Lecture by Judith Lichtenberg

The Centre for Ethics is pleased to present:

Judith Lichtenberg, Department of Philosophy, Georgetown University

Comparing the Moral Weight of Domestic Versus Global Poverty

More than a billion people—20 percent of the world’s population—live below the World Bank’s poverty line of $1.25 a day. But there are also many poor people in developed countries. In the U.S., for example, 46 million people, or about 15 percent of the population, live below the U.S. poverty line. How should affluent people assess their comparative moral responsibilities to these two groups? On the one hand, a common approach among philosophers has been to argue that people have special duties to compatriots that take priority over duties to “strangers.” On the other hand, it has been said that the poorest 5 percent of U.S. citizens are richer than two thirds of the people in the world. Clearly these two assertions pull in opposite directions. I attempt to sort out some of these puzzles, in part with the help of the concept of relative deprivation—the extent to which people’s well-being depends on what others around them have.

This event is free and open to the public.  Registration is not required.

For further information, please contact the Centre for Ethics at (416)978-6288.


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