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Remedial responsibility for global poverty : individual motivation and institutional capacity

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Remedial responsibility for global poverty : individual motivation and institutional capacity

Tomalty, Jesse (2007) Remedial responsibility for global poverty : individual motivation and institutional capacity. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Tens of thousands of people worldwide die each day from poverty-related causes. More staggering than the statistics is the fact that these deaths, and the appalling living conditions surrounding them, are avoidable yet largely ignored. Not only have concrete strategies for poverty relief and sustainable development been suggested, but their implementation would require minimal sacrifice on the part of individuals in affluent nations. The normative implications of these facts are not, however, obvious. Do the "global rich" have responsibilities of assistance towards those suffering severe deprivation? I take for granted that the global rich have what David Miller refers to as "remedial responsibility" for global poverty. That is, they have a special responsibility to contribute to remedying the situations of the worst-off. A separate but related question has to do with how remedial responsibility is to be distributed. I argue that, although several factors can contribute to the assignment of remedial responsibility, an agent's capacity to act in accordance with the requirements of remedial responsibility imposes a minimum constraint its assignment. With this in mind, I evaluate the claim that institutional agents should be treated as the primary bearers of remedial responsibility in the case of global poverty. I argue that because institutional agency depends on the motivation of individuals, the motivation of the individual constituents of an institutional agent constrain its capacity to act. In order to argue that institutional agents should be treated as the main bearers of remedial responsibility for global poverty, it must be the case that at least some of their individual constituents are sufficiently motivated to pursue the eradication of global poverty. The assignment of remedial responsibility for global poverty thus requires sensitivity to the constraints on the capacities of the potential bearers of that responsibility.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Tomalty, Jesse
Pagination:v, 72 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Philosophy
Date:2007
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gilabert, Pablo
ID Code:975523
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:09
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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