I would agree with Mike that I'd like to go over both "sixes" in class.
I think Pogge is right that the way we go about stopping injustice does seem to carry some sort of moral weight. Is it a proper reading of Rawls/(Daniels) to say that his hypothetical contractors would not be able to take account of the "method" question? Also, can someone please explain to me the argument about why we owe something to those in the past?
I did find very compelling the arguments about future citizens of the planet. He frames it a new way. It no longer was merely that we are using/damaging the resources of those in the future, though this is an extremely important point. He argued that we actually shape the conceptions of the good that future people will have in virtue of the decisions we make. How we leave the world, the values we uphold, will change others lives. If we promote particular professions as important in this lifetime, for instance, it will become second nature to future generations that those lifestyles are the way to be. This is cool and frightening all wrapped up into one.
It is interesting the way Pogge puts into conversation a real world issue and a sophisticated discussion of rights. As I understand his conceptions, its more about having claims against coercive social institutions to promote some ends. Interestingly, he doesn't view legality as a necessary condition and instead argues that it might be harmful, echoing sentiments of past authors we've read. One question, though. Isn't there something about legality that gives a feel of permanence to rights? A guarantee that something will be there the next day? Now, I know that laws change and that cultural norms, for instance, can tend to last much longer. But isn't there some value to codification. Also, what constitutes a "coercive social institution?" Who all would this conception of rights give obligations to? Her argument seems very similar to Shrader-Frechette's from EJ when arguing that those who reap benefits from an unjust social order are obligated to work to "compensate" others when systems of injustice can't be easily fixed.
Why yes, it has been years
1 year ago