PHIL1002 York ONeills Argument for Benevolence Towards Hungry and Poor Essay

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The prompt that needs to be answered is: What are our obligations of benevolence toward the hungry and poor, and why do we have these obligations, according to Onora O'Neill?

The aim of this short paper assignment is to accurately reconstruct an argument selected from Onora O’Neill’s “A Kantian Approach to World Hunger”. Your task will be both to clearly articulate the conclusion of the author’s argument and to clearly and economically identify and articulate the premises that lead to this conclusion—the steps provided as reasons supporting the conclusion of the argument.

Below I have attached a PDF labelled "PHIL1002- instructions for Paper Assignment" please follow exactly what it says on this doc as it will tell you everything that I and my prof is looking for. The format, the word limit is 400 (DO NOT GO OVER)!!!, double-spaced, 12 font, you NEED to cite the assigned texts that I am attaching to this assignment as it will guarantee my mark to be higher than a 80%. No over page.

I have also attached an example of a paper my prof wrote labelled, "Sample Argument Reconstruction Essay". This is exactly the format that needs to be done. You can notice that it is only 3 pages- 2 pages are the actual paper with the name, prof name and course kit right near the top. Last page is the reference page.

I have also attached a doc labelled, "Lecture notes"- this not only has notes on what an argument is and how to put it into standard form but also notes on the Onora O'Neill Kantian approach to answer the question. Which can also be used if necessary.

I attached another doc labelled, "Kantian: course kit" which is the reading given to us on this approach that needs to be USED in the paper to cite. Please use at least a good 3 citations from the course kit and if you can try to put her argument into Standard form. Look at sample!

Requirements: APA | Argumentative Essay | 2 pages, Double spaced

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Department of Philosophy York University PHIL 1002: Justice, Law, and Morality Instructor: Parisa Moosavi First Paper Assignment: Argument Reconstruction Due on eClass by Friday, February 12, 11:59pm General Instructions: The aim of this short paper assignment is to accurately reconstruct an argument selected from Onora O’Neill’s “A Kantian Approach to World Hunger” (described below). Your task will be both to clearly articulate the conclusion of the author’s argument and to clearly and economically identify and articulate the premises that lead to this conclusion—the steps provided as reasons supporting the conclusion of the argument. The Prompt: What are our obligations of benevolence toward the hungry and poor, and why do we have these obligations, according to Onora O’Neill? (Make sure to discuss how O’Neill explains the requirements of benevolence imposed by Kant’s Humanity formulation of the categorical imperative. Feel free to focus mainly on the requirements of benevolence and not on the requirements of justice.) Format, Word Limit, and Citing: Please use Double-space with 12pt font. Put your name, student number, your TA’s name, and your word count on top of the first page. Please do not include a cover page. Your word limit for this assignment is 400 words. If you exceed this limit, you will be penalized 4% points for each 100 words above the limit. Don’t forget to put the word count at the top of the page (you don’t need to count your header, title, or bibliography in the word count). It is essential that you cite your source material. If you do not cite the assigned texts in your written assignment, your grade will not be higher than 80%. And, to be clear, citing your source material is more than just offering a ‘Works Cited’ or ‘Bibliography’ at the end of your 1 paper. You are required to cite your source material in the body of your text (or in footnotes or endnotes) whenever you quote or refer to an author’s arguments or claims. We are not particular about citation conventions as long as you cite material in a consistent way. So, any standard citation method (e.g. MLA, APA, or Chicago Style) is acceptable. You can use parenthetical in-text citations, including author and page number, with an appended ‘Works Cited’ section in the end. A proper parenthetical citation for a quote taken from Onora O’Neill’s article would look like this: (O’Neill, 57). And, again, please note that you must cite more than just quotations. Citations should be made whenever you are discussing any ideas or arguments from a text. Please read the section about Academic Integrity and Plagiarism on the syllabus carefully before writing your essay. Make sure to also look at my sample essay on eClass. (This essay can be found under Assignments > Paper Assignment 1 > Sample Argument Reconstruction Essay.) Grading: Your paper will be assessed by the following rubric: 1) Following Instructions: Fully answer all of the questions and directives posed in the prompt. Also, stick to the word count. 2) Citation and Accuracy of Attribution: When you attribute a claim, argument, or conclusion to an author make sure to offer evidence for this attribution by a simple page citation. Stick close to the text so that you don’t misattribute views to authors (views that an author does not actually hold). 3) Clarity & Adequate Definition of Terms: Clarity is of primary importance in these papers. You are to take the reader through your reconstruction of these arguments in your own terms. Of course, some philosophical jargon will enter into play. When you introduce technical jargon, make sure to clarify what the terms mean in the context of the argument you are reconstructing. We need to know that you understand these thinkers’ arguments, so articulate their ideas clearly and, as best you can, in plain and clear language. 4) Comprehensive and Economical Reconstruction: When reconstructing arguments (be they primary arguments, objections, or replies) make sure that you not only reconstruct all of necessary steps (comprehensive) but also avoid any extraneous steps that are unnecessary for delivering the argument’s conclusion. While it is critical that you do not 2 leave out any of the argument’s essential steps, it is equally important (especially in a short essay like this) that you do not digress into unnecessary or tangential discussions. 5) Charitableness: Be charitable to the arguments you are reconstructing. Even if you don’t agree with them, try to show them in their strongest possible form (so as to avoid erecting ‘straw persons’). 3 Make sure to include your student number and a word count. A very brief introduction to tell the reader what the paper is about. Get to the point straight away. No need for a grand opening. Parisa Moosavi I write my name and the page number on every page. Moosavi 1 Student Number: xxx TA: xxx 27 September 2020 A title: Word Count: 398 Nothing fancy, just something to indicate Singer’s Argument for Moral Obligation to Donate what topic you are writing In “Famine, Affluence and Morality” Peter Singer argues on. that our ordinary ways of thinking about charity and moral obligation are mistaken. Most people think that giving money to aid agencies is an act of charity and there is nothing wrong with not giving. But Singer argues that people living in affluent countries have a moral obligation to help those living in poverty. In I briefly state what I will do in the paper. Singer begins by considering cases of famine, like the one in Bengal in this paper, I reconstruct Singer’s argument for this conclusion. I start by talking about how Singer motivates his argument. Use your space wisely. Only include what you think helps the argument. 1971, were people were dying from lack of food and shelter (Singer, 43). He criticizes the way neither governments nor individuals were doing anything significant to relieve the suffering of those in need. He then argues that there are many other major emergencies like Bengal, and we have a moral obligation to help by donating to aid agencies. Singer’s argument is as follows: I reconstruct Singer’s argument in standard form. (P1) Suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and medical care are bad. (P2) If we can prevent something bad from happening without sacrificing anything nearly as important, it is wrong not to do so. Moosavi 2 It’s not necessary to put the argument in standard form. But do your best to make the steps in the argument clear and explicit. Simply writing out the premises and conclusion is not enough. I also cover what Singer says in order to explain or defend each premise. Here I give a citation with a page number to credit Singer for the example of drowning child. (P3) By donating to aid agencies, we can prevent suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and medical care without sacrificing anything nearly as important. (C) Therefore, if we do not donate to aid agencies, we are doing something wrong. Singer believes that most people will agree about the first premise. So he doesn’t really argue for it. He also takes the second premise to be Here I use a quotation because I uncontroversial. He argues that it only requires us to prevent what is bad when think it is helpful to say this exactly as we can do it “without sacrificing anything that is, from the moral point of view, Singer does. comparably important.” (Singer, 44) In other words, we only need to prevent Note: - The quotation is suffering when, morally speaking, the cost of doing so is smaller than the short. suffering itself. For example, if you can save a drowning child by wading in a - I have explained it afterward in my own words. shallow pond, it seems obvious that you ought to do it. Because morally - I have included a speaking, the cost of getting your clothes muddy is not nearly as high as the citation with the page number for child’s life (Singer, 44). the quotation. Finally, the third premise is implicit in Singer’s argument. He doesn’t explicitly mention it, but he assumes that by donating to aid agencies we can prevent suffering without scarifying anything nearly as important. Therefore, Notice how I have presented Singer’s argument in an organized manner that is easy to follow. Singer concludes that, for most of us in affluent countries, donating to aid agencies is a moral obligation and not doing so is wrong. You don’t need a concluding paragraph for the first paper, which is very short. Here I just end by restating how Singer gets to his conclusion. Moosavi 3 I include a bibliography in the end. It doesn’t matter what format you use, as long as the relevant information is there. Works Cited Singer, Peter. "Famine, affluence, and morality." In Justice, Law and Morality Course kit (York University), 43-52. As you can see above, I have cited the version of Singer’s article that is printed in the course kit. The page numbers I have included in my in-text citations throughout the essay refer to the page numbers in the course kit. Alternatively, you can cite a different version of the reading. The first page of your course kit actually has a bibliography for all the articles that appear in the course kit. You can use that bibliography to cite the article if you want, but if you do that, make sure to use the page numbers from the original article (and not from the course kit). For example, you can cite the version of Singer’s article that is cited in the first page of your course kit: Singer, Peter. "Famine, affluence, and morality." In Ethics in Practice: An Anthology, 2nd ed., Edited by Hugh LaFollette (Blackwell Publishers, 2002), 572-581. But if you do that, you must use the page numbers from that version of the article for your in-text citations. For instance, you should cite (Singer, 573) instead of (Singer, 44). What is an argument? - In philosophy, an argument is a connected series of statements or claims, intended to demonstrate that another statement or claims is true. - The goal of an argument is to offer good reasons in support of a specific claim (conclusion of the argument), reason that all parties to your dispute can accept Premises and Conclusion - A premise is a statement that supports or helps establish an arguments conclusion - A conclusion is the statement that is supported by the argument’s premises The Standard Form Helps to take an argument and put it into a standard form. There can be many premise’s in an argument hence we label them as such: P1 Premise 1 P2 Premise 2 P3 Premise 3 … C Conclusion Example of Standard Form: P1- Rachel McAdams received a York University degree P2- No one receives a York University degree unless they studied at York University C- So, Rachel McAdams studied at York University These two premises are used to support the conclusion. Is this a good argument? Does it give us good reasons to believe that Rachel studied at York University? Two Questions: in order to see if the argument is a good argument we would ask the following two questions. The first question is about the structure and second is content. - Does the conclusion follow from the premises? (Structure) o To see if the structure is followed we need to assume that the premises are true hence it helps determine if the conclusion makes sense, is true and overall the argument is true. o Example 1: P1 the sky is blue P2 the grass is green C therefore, liberal will win the election This is false, the conclusion of the argument does NOT follow from its premises. The logical structure of this argument is not good but the premises have nothing to do with the conclusion. o Example 2: P1 The earth is round P2 No round object can be flat - C Therefore, the earth is not flat This is an example of an argument that is true because the premises are true and hence the conclusion is true. The logical structure of the argument is good Are the premises true? (content) o The premises are the starting point of an argument and if the starting point is flawed then the argument can’t take off at all. o Example 1: P1 The earth is flat P2 No round object can be round C Therefore, the earth is not round The argument starts off with a false premise, the structure is good which it is but the argument can’t proceed since it starts with a false premise. Example: P1- Rachel McAdams received a York University degree P2- No one receives a York University degree unless they studied at York University C- So, Rachel McAdams studied at York University Back to this example. In order to determine if this is a good argument let’s ask ourselves 1. Does the conclusion follow from the premises? a. Yes, this is true because when we assume that the premises are true then the conclusion makes sense and is true as well 2. Are the premises true? a. When we think about it, the second premise is confusing because sometimes Universities give honorable degrees to those that haven’t studied at York. So, this means the second premise is not true. Which means that the argument is good because the structure is not good and so in turn that would mean that this is not a good example for this argument. Validity and Soundness - In a valid argument, the conclusion follows from the premises o A valid argument passes the first test - A sound argument is a valid argument which has all true premises o A sound argument passes BOTH tests Notice that in order for an argument to be sound it must already be valid. Soundness is a more difficult aim in an argument. Meaning it needs a good structure, content, and valid Example: P1- Rachel McAdams received a York University degree P2- No one receives a York University degree unless they studied at York University C- So, Rachel McAdams studied at York University Is the argument valid? Since the logical structure of the argument is good and passes the test then it is valid. Is the argument soundness? In order to be sound the argument needs to be valid but also all premises need to be true but we already know that the second premise is not meaning this argument is not sound. Another example: P1- Rachel McAdams studied at York University P2- No one receives a York University degree unless they studied at York University C- So, Rachel McAdams received at York University degree Is this argument valid? (is the logical structure good) (does conclusion follow premises) - No, just because she studied there doesn’t mean she got a degree. She could have left her program before graduating. It doesn’t matter that she finished her study and got the degree. It’s about the STRUCTURE. We need to assume that the premises of the argument are true regardless of whether they are true or not. Even if we knew for a fact that Rachel did finish her studies at York we can’t include that fact into our assessment of validity in the argument. We must look at what the argument has given us which are the 2 premises. From these two premises allow this is not valid because she could have dropped out. Is this argument sound? - No, because to even start off the argument needs to be valid which we already determined is not. Another Example P1 Ontario is part of Canada P2 Rachel McAdams was born in Ontario P3 Therefore, Rachel McAdams was born in Canada Is this argument valid? - If Ontario is a part of Canada and Rachel was born in Ontario does it follow that Rachel was born in Canada. There is no way for us to assume that she was not born in Canada since the two premises are truths. The truth of the premises guarantees that the conclusion is true so argument IS VALID Is this argument sound? - Argument is valid so passes first test which is about logical structure - Second test is if the premises are actually true. Ontario is in fact a part of Canada so first premise is true and second premise is true because its telling us she was born in Canada so argument IS SOUND. Use the Correct Terminology Arguments can be: - Valid or invalid - Sound or unsound Specifically keep in mind that these terms are used for arguments for the very specific meaning that we just learned. Other words: - Convincing or unconvincing - Strong or weak Arguments can’t be: - True or false - b/c an argument is not a single statement as it involves multiple statements/claims. Statements cant be: - valid or invalid - sound or unsound - convincing or unconvincing - strong or weak These can’t be used for statements as they are used for arguments. A single statement is not trying to provide reasons. As it’s a single statement and not multiple. Statement can be: - true or false So, always ask yourself if you are talking about a statement or argument Question: Can there be a sound argument with a false conclusion? - No, a sound argument will ALWAYS be true Identifying Arguments - Is there a claim that someone is trying to establish based on other claims? o If answer is yes then we are dealing with an argument o In order to make this argument explicit we need to: ▪ Identify the conclusion: therefore, so, hence, thus, consequently, it follows that ▪ Identify the premises: since, because, for, as, given that, for the reason that o Look for the words above to help figure it out as it can be tough. Signals words are helpful but might not necessarily always be there so it is required that we pay attention to content and thinking about the relation between the different claims made in the argument Example 1: “Abortion is morally wrong because it is wrong to take the life of an innocent human being, and a fetus is an innocent human being”. “because”- signal word “it is wrong to take the life of an innocent human being”- must be the premise “and a fetus is an innocent human being”- since this line is connected with an and after the line above, this tells us it is also a premise “abortion is morally wrong”- must be the conclusion Write argument in standard form to make the structure clear- this is called reconstructing an argument to make it clear. But we are not taking a position to keep that in mind. We don’t think it’ s right or wrong, we just are making it explicit/clear. P1 it is wrong to take the life of an innocent human being P2 a fetus is an innocent human being C abortion is morally wrong Example 2: “COVID-19 is an infectious disease that can be fatal. Although face masks are not perfect, wearing them can reduce the chance of spreading the virus to others when social distancing is not possible. So, everyone should wear facemasks in public places whenever social distancing is not possible.” P1 COVID-19 is an infectious disease that can be fatal P2 wearing them can reduce the chance of spreading the virus to others when social distancing is not possible C everyone should wear facemasks in public places whenever social distancing is not possible “Although face masks are not perfect”- no need to add as it does not mean much and is more of a “get us ready” for what’s coming next. Is this a good argument? - Is it valid or sound or both? o Well, both premises are true. However, not everyone should wear facemasks so that doesn’t seem true. Example, someone might say they don’t need to wear the mask because they don’t have the disease. - Someone might ask what they can do to make the argument conclusion better. Well, we could add in another premise like so: P1 COVID-19 is an infectious disease that can be fatal P2 wearing them can reduce the chance of spreading the virus to others when social distancing is not possible P3 Anyone could have COVID-19 without knowing it C everyone should wear facemasks in public places whenever social distancing is not possible - This is adding to the conclusion for those that claim they don’t need to wear a mask because they don’t have it to make the argument STRONGER. This is because you are telling them they could have it and so they need to be cautious. Does this make the argument valid? o Well, someone may agree with all those premises but say “they just don’t care” meaning they don’t accept the conclusion that they need to wear a mask. Is there a way to anticipate this objection and improve the argument even further? P1 COVID-19 is an infectious disease that can be fatal P2 wearing them can reduce the chance of spreading the virus to others when social distancing is not possible P3 Anyone could have COVID-19 without knowing it P4 Everyone has a responsibility to avoid causing harm to others C everyone should wear facemasks in public places whenever social distancing is not possible - - - We have added in another premise to support our conclusion, if someone accepted all these premises they would have to agree that not only would they avoid causing harm by wearing a mask but also, they do have a responsibility to avoid causing harm to others Seems we are getting closer to making the argument valid which is good because it makes our thinking and reasoning clear. However, notice that the fourth premise itself is now a controversial claim An anti-masker might say “okay the argument is valid but I don’t think your premises are all true. The fourth is making a strong claim and I don’t think it’s true that everyone has a responsibility to avoid causing harm to others but wearing mask is causing harm to my own freedom. Why am I causing harm to myself while trying to avoid causing harm to others? P1 COVID-19 is an infectious disease that can be fatal P2 wearing them can reduce the chance of spreading the virus to others when social distancing is not possible P3 Anyone could have COVID-19 without knowing it P4 Everyone has a responsibility to avoid causing grave harm to others when it comes at a small cost to themselves P5 Wearing facemasks in public comes at a small cost C everyone should wear facemasks in public places whenever social distancing is not possible - - - - - - Seems the argument has improved a lot, yes people can still argue but at that point they would be the ones making a strong controversial claim. So, we could press them and ask if they are able to maintain a few about other domains of life. For example, if they don’t think others have a responsibility to avoid causing harms to them when they are the ones experiencing grave harm and others could refrain from causing the harm at a small cost. It’ s possible that we haven’t made the argument strictly speaking, valid. For example, someone might reject the conclusion by arguing that wearing masks only reduces the chance of causing harm and doesn’t necessarily enable us to avoid it. So, they might question if wearing masks actually falls on the responsibility to avoid causing harm which is mentioned in premise 4. There might still be ways to revise our premises and make the structure of the argument closer to validity Notice also that it’s not entirely clear that all our premises are true. Premise 4 and 5 can still be debated So, when it comes to real life debate and convincing others, coming up with an argument that is not only sound but such that its soundness can be proven to the party is actually not that easy However, this example should help us see that putting an argument in standard form and trying to make it valid with keeping the premises at least plausibly or probably true can go a long way to improving our argument and making it stronger Though sound is not always available it can guide us to make reasonable good arguments A Good Argument - A good argument provides strong reasons for its conclusion - In a good argument: o The logical structure is strong ▪ The premises provide a strong degree of support for the conclusion (notice that this is not as strict as the idea of validity (the premises might not guarantee that the conclusion is true but at least it provides a strong support for it) o The premises are true (or at least most likely true) Global Justice- Part 2 A Kantian Approach to World Hunger - Onora O’Neill - What is our obligation to the hungry and poor, and why? o She approaches this differently compared to Singer, the last lecture before this o Singer’s theory is that we ought to prevent pain and suffering when we can because pain and suffering is bad. Although, Singer’s theory is not based completely on utilitarianism, it was essentially consequentialism argument because it was focused on the badness of consequences of our failure to help. o O’Neil’s argument is different: Kant’s Humanity formulation of Categorical Imperative The Humanity Formula - So, act that you use humanity, whether in your own person or that of another, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means - This formula is really saying two things o Requirements of Justice ▪ not treating others merely as mere means o Requirements of Beneficence ▪ treating others as ends in themselves Requirements of Justice - Not treating others as mere means - We use others as a mere means if what we do reflects some maxim to which they could not in principle consent - We know that mere means, means using someone but using them in a specific way. O’Neill explains in the statement above that we are using people as a mere means when we use them in a way that relies on a maxim or general policy that they could not in principle consent too - What does it mean to say that someone “could not in principle” consent to something? o X - It’s not in their best interest- involves cases where there is no consent o = - they could not choose it freely o example: you agreeing to host a party with illegal drugs but there being drugsyou were misleading- no consent o acting on maxims that coerce or deceive others - According to O’Neil: We should not treat others as mere means o Acting on maxims that others could not in principle consent to - o Acting on maxims that coerce or deceive others The boundary that divides (between) negotiation and coercion o Me wanting to host a party only because I want to be invited to another people’s party or hosting a party for you coworkers because you think your boss might fire you ▪ Clear cases of coercion: threating with force, taking someone’s processions, causing harm- serious injury or danger ▪ The more vulnerable a person is the more careful we need to be Requirements of Beneficence - Treating others as ends in themselves o This is just as important as the one above o We positively treat them as ends in themselves- treating them with beneficence which means benefiting them - If human beings were wholly rational and autonomous, duty would only require that they don’t use one another as mere means - If people were complete rational then all we have to do is leaving them alone and this would treat as an end in themselves. However, humans being are FINITE rational beings which is why treating them as an end means more than just leaving them alone Humans being are finite rational beings - We are not ideal rational calculators o We’re not always able to make the rational decisions. This is because we don’t have access to all the relevant information, we make mistakes in reasoning when we have options, we don’t tend to calculate all options - We have limited autonomy o We aren’t free to do everything we want to do, sometimes there are physical barriers and inabilities. Sometimes the problem is that we need to depend on others - These reasons basically mean that need to depend on others in order to succeed. We generally need the help and support of others in order to achieve our aims - Treating others as ends in themselves requires treating them as rational and autonomous beings - Given that humans are finite and rational in autonomy, treating them as an end in themselves requires helping them to become more rational and autonomous. Offering them information and providing them with the help that they need in order to succeed Requirements of Beneficence - So, a general refusal of help and support amounts to failure to treat others as rational and autonomous beings (ends in themselves) - On the Kantian view, beneficence is an indispensable as justice in human lives: justice is morally required whereas beneficence is not as important- this is the impression that some people get due to the perfect and imperfect duties. Imperfect and perfect have nothing to do with how important these duties are. The reason why the positive obligation into treat people as an end in themselves is called and imperfect duty is that we have to be selective in when and how we perform this duty. We’re just not able to support all other people all the time so the positive obligation is to treat others a positive end which is the requirement of beneficence is such that it can be fold in a variety of ways and situation. Justice to the Vulnerable - Since anyone hungry or destitute is often vulnerable to deception and coercion, the possibilities and temptations to injustice are then especially wrong o Example: sell food at high prices- this is unjust- not agreements made freely like towards indigenous people Beneficence to the Vulnerable - Vulnerable people have severely curtailed possibilities for autonomous action, so almost any material or organizational advance may help extend possibility for autonomy - One thing to highlight here is: o The basis for our duty of beneficence is not promoting happiness, but treating people as ends ▪ Enable people to act rationally and autonomously and persuade there aims and projects successfully ▪ This is a key difference with how our obligation to help is motivated a consequential approach. The content basis or obligation to help is not promoting the happiness or well-being of people in need. It’s the autonomy and rationality that we care about. ▪ One implication of this is that we should not promote other people’s happiness in any cost- not at the cost of manipulation or against their will, that won’t count as benevolence. Anything we do to help must be aligned with treating them with respect for their humanity and rational autonomy ▪ That said, when people are in vulnerable situations, helping them with the basic necessities and promote their well-being will improve their ability to act freely and rationally. THAT’S why, we need to help • Example: providing clean water, transportation, providing education, etc. ▪ Not improving people’s happiness but respecting their autonomy On the topic of global justice with Onora O’Neil’s article “A Kantian Approach to World Hunger”. Although both Singer’s and O’Neil’s articles address the issue of global poverty, they do so from different perspectives: Singer offers a consequentialist argument for why we should prevent global suffering and poverty, whereas O’Neil offers a Kantian (deontological) argument for why we have a duty to help vulnerable people.
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Student Number: xxxxx
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12 February 2021
Word Count: 395
O’Neill’s Argument for Benevolence Towards Hungry and Poor
In “A Kantian Approach to World Hunger,” Onora O’Neill argues that benevolence
towards the poor and hungry should be in the form of promotion of their individual autonomy.
O’Neill states that the autonomy of an individual is threatened not just by unjust agreements but
also coerci...


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