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Need, Care and Obligation

  • Sarah Miller

Extract

All humans experience needs. At times needs cut deep, inhibiting persons’ abilities to act as agents in the world, to live in distinctly human ways, or to achieve life goals of significance to them. In considering such potentialities, several questions arise: Are any needs morally important, meaning that they operate as morally relevant details of a situation? What is the correct moral stance to take with regard to situations of need? Are moral agents ever required to tend to others’ well-being by meeting their needs? What justification or foundation, if any, can be given for requiring moral agents to respond to others’ needs?

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