An archaeology of borders: qualitative political theory as a tool in addressing moral distance

Journal of Global Ethics 5 (2):109-123 (2009)
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Interviews, field observations and other qualitative methods are being increasingly used to inform the construction of arguments in normative political theory. This article works to demonstrate the strong salience of some kinds of qualitative material for cosmopolitan arguments to extend distributive boundaries. The incorporation of interviews and related qualitative material can make the moral claims of excluded others more vivid and possibly more difficult to dismiss by advocates of strong priority to compatriots in distributions. Further, it may help to promote the kind of perspective taking that has been associated with actually motivating a willingness to provide aid by individuals. Illustrative findings are presented from field work conducted for a normative project on global citizenship, including interviews with unauthorized immigrants and the analysis of artefacts left behind on heavily used migrant trails



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Luis Cabrera
Griffith University

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The possibility of altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford,: Clarendon P..
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.

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