Edited by Sarah Joseph, David Kinley and Jeff Waincymer
Chapter 6: International Economic Justice: Is a Principled Liberalism Possible?
Patrick Emerton Ted Honderich writes: What is a good life? For a start, a good life is one that goes on long enough [. . .] Some people, because of their societies, have average lifetimes of about seventyeight years. Some other people, because of their different societies, live on average about forty years [. . .] [M]any people in the second group, those people who pull its average down to forty [. . .] have half-lives at best [. . .] The first group are in fact the populations of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Japan. The second group are the populations of the African countries of Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Sierra Leone.1 Honderich’s figures are drawn from the The World Guide 2001–2002. The figures in the 2005–2006 edition show that those in the first group have average life expectancies of 78.6 years, those in the second group 36.2 years.2 Less than half-lives. Radical differences in life expectancy are not all there is to this radical inequality; Thomas Pogge, for example, draws our attention to the obvious cause of half-lives, and of much other suffering as well, namely, extreme poverty.3 Whatever facts we take to best exemplify this inequality, such human suffering is plainly a matter of deep moral concern. But a consideration of life expectancies, or of inequalities of wealth and income, does not tell us exactly how, at the intellectual level, we should understand the problem in relation to 1 Ted Honderich, After the Terror (Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh,...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.