Response to Arneson, de Bres, and Stilz


Mathias Risse. 12/12/2014. “Response to Arneson, de Bres, and Stilz.” Ethics & International Affairs, 28, 4, Pp. 511-522. See full text.
Response to Arneson, de Bres, and Stilz


Common humanity is one ground of justice.

The distinctively human life generates claims, and their form is that of natural rights. However, explorations of how the distinctively human life generates obligations lead only to a rather limited set of rights—basic security and subsistence rights. Inquiries into another nonrelational ground also produce rather limited results. That ground is humanity's collective ownership of the earth. The principle of justice associated with it merely requires an equal opportunity to use natural spaces and resources for the satisfaction of basic needs. In particular, this result is incompatible with any kind of welfarist commitment. The sheer fact that anybody's welfare as such would be lowered or raised is not a matter of justice. If people share associations with each other (membership in a state, or being connected by trade, say) we can derive obligations from their shared involvement with these associations. But unless people do indeed share such associations, the obligations that hold among them will be rather limited.

: Mathias Risse | Dec 12 2014
: Mathias Risse responds to Arneson, de Bres, and Stilz.
Last updated on 02/07/2020