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Whose Poor / Who's Poor?: The Significance of Relative Deprivation

Start: Feb 19, 2013 06:00 PM
End: Feb 19, 2013 07:30 PM

Location: Moot Court, UCL Faculty of Laws, Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens, London, WC1H 0EG

Speaker: Professor Judith Lichtenberg (Georgetown University)

Chair: Professor John Tasioulas (UCL)

About this event: According to one recent estimate, the poorest five percent of Americans are richer than two thirds of the world’s people. But such comparisons can be misleading. Contemporary philosophers have been preoccupied with determining whether we have special moral obligations to members of our own society—for example, our poor compatriots—that we do not have to those outside our society. But they have neglected to ask how to compare the situations of poor people in one society to poor people in another. Professor Lichtenburg argued that for a variety of reasons, well-being is largely relative: how well off you are depends to a great extent on how well off others around you are. This fact has complex implications, for our responsibilities for benefiting poor compatriots as opposed to poor people in developing countries.

Hands reaching out

'Reaching Out' by Puzzledmonkey, available on Flickr

Page last modified on 22 jan 13 14:20

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