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Boundaries and AllegiancesProblems of Justice and Responsibility in Liberal Thought$
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Samuel Scheffler

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199257671.001.0001

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Families, Nations, and Strangers *

Families, Nations, and Strangers *

(p.48) 3 Families, Nations, and Strangers*
Boundaries and Allegiances

Samuel Scheffler (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Scheffler's main aim in this essay is to explore the nature of ‘associative duties’—the special duties that participants in close personal relationships and members of significant social groups are thought to have to one another. These duties occupy a central position in common‐sense moral thinking, even though their precise content is often unclear. Scheffler considers two objections to associative duties: the voluntarist objection, rooted in an ideal of freedom and autonomy; and the distributive objection, rooted in a principle of equality. Like associative duties themselves, the values of freedom and equality exert genuine authority within common‐sense moral thought, and so there are deep internal conflicts in our thinking about the extent of our responsibilities to different individuals and groups.

Keywords:   associative duties, autonomy, common‐sense morality, distributive objection, equality, freedom, personal relationships, social groups, voluntarism

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