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The Ethics of GivingPhilosophers' Perspectives on Philanthropy$
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Paul Woodruff

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190648879

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190648879.001.0001

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Justice and Charitable Giving

(p.204) Chapter 7 Afterword
The Ethics of Giving

Paul Woodruff

Oxford University Press

Justice entails a range of obligations to give, not all of which are strictly philanthropic. Neither the duty of restitution nor the duty to pay one’s fair share is philanthropic in Kant’ sense. Some considerations of justice are coincident with effective altruism, but some point in other directions. Much of the wealth and happiness in the rich world has been built on sacrifices forced on others, foreign or domestic, and our obligations to those others may be complex. So we may have justice-based obligations to give that compete with each other as well as with philanthropic duties. Philanthropic duties are wide and may be fulfilled in a number of ways. By contrast, duties of justice must be narrower; they may be fulfilled only toward certain recipients and (in some cases) in certain amounts. Duties of justice include reciprocity, paying one’s fair share, and avoiding free-ridership.

Keywords:   justice, charity, philanthropy, beneficence, reciprocity, free-rider, fair share, perfect duty, imperfect duty

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