Poverty and the moral significance of contribution

Gerhard Overland

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)
    19 Downloads (Pure)


    The main thesis of the article is that one's responsibility to render assistance is not affected by having contributed to the situation by causing harm. I examine ways in which contribution to need is morally significant. Although contribution is relevant with regard to certain features, such as questions of blame, compensation, and fair distribution of the cost of assistance, I argue that contribution should carry no weight when assessing our duty to assist people in severe need if we can do so at little cost. If this is true we have reason to suspect that it is redundant to know whether or not we have in fact contributed to the need of the global poor when assessing our duty to address global poverty.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)299-315
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Moral Philosophy
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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