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Göteborgs universitets publikationer

keynote: Global Justice, Special Relations and the Basis of Consumer Duties

Författare och institution:
Nina van Heeswijk (Institutionen för filosofi, lingvistik och vetenskapsteori)
Publicerad i:
Annual seminar Dutch working group business ethics, June 19 2014, Tilburg University,
Konferensbidrag, övrigt
Sammanfattning (abstract):
Globalization and free trade have opened up a worldwide market. This has increased consumer freedom, but at the same time reduced possibilities for governments to safeguard production and consumption through legislation and regulatory policy. In the absence of such regulations, consumers can buy products produced far away by farmers and factory workers whose living and working conditions are far below the standards accepted in the western countries importing these products. In this context the question emerges what is morally required of consumers regarding the situation of those producing their goods. It can be asked whether there are any consumer duties, and, if so, why they arise (their basis), to whom they are owed (their scope), and which requirements for action they involve (their content). In this paper the basis of consumer duties will be investigated. That is, it will be investigated how such duties, if there are any, are justified. Moral duties of individuals regarding global poverty and oppression are usually thought of either in terms of ‘duties of justice’ or in terms of ‘duties of humanity’. While the latter are generally taken to be grounded in universal humanitarian considerations, duties of justice are often thought to arise among persons standing in some kind of special relation. The paradigm case is that of the political relation between citizens of nation-states. While recently some authors have argued that in our globalized world the relevant kind of political relations exist globally, they nevertheless adopt the focus on political relations as generating duties of justice. However, given the above-sketched developments one may wonder whether economic relations within our global economy may (also) generate duties beyond humanitarianism. I will argue that on any plausible relational account of justice, global economic relations indeed engender moral duties beyond humanitarianism, based on considerations of fair division of cooperative surplus. I will proceed by discussing an account of consumer duties based on the idea that consumers have a (partial) moral responsibility to take over some of the state´s functions to regulate the global market because of the legitimacy of the practice of the global marketplace. I argue that this proposal has some intuitive appeal, yet that justifying it on the basis of the good it produces for it´s participants is problematic. I will then suggest an alternative approach that is not so much concerned with the positive duty of protecting certain goods, yet with the negative duty not to be involved in unfair trade relations.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Filosofi, etik och religion ->
Filosofi ->
Praktisk filosofi
Filosofi, etik och religion ->
Global Justice, Consumer Duties, Fair Trade, Cooperative Surplus
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2016-06-02 16:37
Posten ändrad:
2016-06-02 16:51

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