chapter  2
30 Pages

Relationships

In this Chapter I have three aims. The first is to refine and clarify what I called in the last chapter the moral challenge to associative duties. I begin by outlining what Scheffler calls the distributive objection to associative duties which is grounded in the values of egalitarian justice and impartiality. In 2.2 I set out Scheffler’s voluntarist objection to associative duties which appeals to the value of individual liberty. Reflecting on the structure of these two objections, I argue in 2.3 that there is a third problem attached to associative duties, unarticulated by Scheffler, which I label the respect objection. The second aim of the chapter is to present my own critical nonreductionist account of associative duties which I do in 2.4 and 2.5. What I call the ‘relationship goods’ account rests on a notion of social relationships as substantive interactions between individuals, an idea which goes beyond the notion that individuals are connected merely by their social roles or by sharing some quality in common. It holds that associative duties are justified by the goods which participants produce for each other through engaging in their social relationship, goods which meet their relationship-dependent interests. Section 2.6 examines the relationship between associative duties, considered this way, and the special duties which participants in relationships also owe one another, while 2.7 considers some objections to the relationship goods view. The final section outlines how the relationships goods account can address the three aspects of the moral challenge to associative duties. That is the third aim of the chapter. With the relationship goods view in place, I consider in the chapters which follow how it can address various dimensions of the moral challenge in the context of some specific modes of social relationship .