Duty and Distance

Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (3):547-561 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Ever since the publication of Singer’s (1972) article on ‘Famine, Affluence, and Morality’ have debates about duties to the distant needy been marked by a high degree of controversy. Most contributors discuss how duties are established or influenced by the fact that those in need of help can be geographically close or distant. In other words, they debate the problem of duty and distance from the perspective of duties. Here, we change tack and put the concept of distance at the centre of the analysis. We ask: what precisely is the definition and role of geographical distance in the different contributions? We argue that a distinction between empirical and moral disagreement over geographical distance clarifies several important aspects of the debate. The analysis also sheds new light on duties in the current European refugee crisis.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,420

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Beneficence, Duty and Distance.Richard W. Miller - 2004 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 32 (4):357-383.
The Universality of Moral Requirements and Duties to Close Persons.A. V. Prokofyev - 2018 - Russian Journal of Philosophical Sciences 11:103-113.
Rescue and the Duty to Aid.Violetta Igneski - 2001 - Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada)
Moral Distance.Deen K. Chatterjee - 2003 - The Monist 86 (3):327-332.
Moral Distance.Deen K. Chatterjee - 2003 - The Monist 86 (3):327-332.
Obligations of Nearness.Francesco Orsi - 2008 - Journal of Value Inquiry 42 (1):1-21.


Added to PP

87 (#192,781)

6 months
18 (#192,331)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Conrad Heilmann
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Citations of this work

Why Do We Disagree about our Obligations to the Poor?Peter Seipel - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (1):121-136.
When subsistence rights are just claims and this is unjust.Alejandra Mancilla - 2019 - Social Philosophy and Policy 36 (2):134-153.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.
Famine, affluence, and morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Does Distance Matter Morally to the Duty to Rescue.F. M. Kamm - 2000 - Law and Philosophy 19 (6):655-681.

View all 8 references / Add more references