To What Extent Can Beitz — страница 4

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question of interdependence (Realists believing it to be less significant). Thus the position that we arrive at is ironic since the realization of international principles of justice is hindered by the existence of anarchy in the international realm. Beitz constructs a problem of international ethics that is Hobbesian. On this point, it seems that critics of Beitz?s approach have uncovered a fact that renders his theory obsolete. The argument prior suggests that Beitz?s tack can be seen not as a radical divergence from the ?orthodox? view of the Realists he wishes to dislodge. Nor is it a withdrawal from the idea that the difficulty of ethics in the international realm is one of conjunctions. It raises very similar questions as to how to bring together the elements of ethics that

exist domestically to the international. Therefore, Beitz believes that ideal theory can generate principles of justice that can serve as a ?goal? to strive for. This is why Beitz stresses that it is important that these principles of justice need not be applied now (an existence condition), rather, that they may be applied in the future, meanwhile only functioning as ?ideals?. Here we can notice an apparent contradiction, since interdependence as an existence condition is inapplicable to the formation of a global original position, which creates principles that need not only be viable at some time in the future. So if Beitz?s interdependence argument is rendered obsolete, what can he now rely on? In order for Beitz?s ?cosmopolitan international morality? argument to be

sustained, he implicitly rejects the view that national interests should override international individual?s interests. Beitz does accept the principle of self-preservation, though not in the Hobbesian sense. Beitz views each person as an ethical subject, and that these persons, and not states should benefit from the international difference principle. However, we may ask what exactly it is that entitles a person to have worth as a moral end? His answer relies on the specification of ?the moral powers?. If Beitz is to convince us that a ?cosmopolitan international morality? is a feasible possibility, he has to ?insist on a universalistic conception of the person?.(Pin-Fat1997:36) ?If the original position is to represent individuals as equal moral persons for the purpose of

choosing principles of institutional or background justice, then the criterion of membership is possession of the two essential powers of moral responsibility- a capacity for an effective sense of justice and a capacity to form, revise, and pursue a conception of the good.?(Beitz1979b:595) This statement represents a change in Beitz?s position. Instead of basing his theory on the obstacle facing ethics in international politics dependant on the question of realization, he changes tack and argues that it primarily depends on ?moral responsibility?. Nonetheless, Beitz does not dismiss his earlier argument that ethics in international politics can be realized, it is only that he no longer requires that conditions such as interdependence must exist. Thus, Beitz?s possibility of a

?cosmopolitan international morality? is not dependent on interdependence, but on a ?universalistic conception of the person?. This change in Beitz?s theory certainly limits the plausibility of his argument of sustaining the idea of a ?cosmopolitan international morality?. Janna Thompson questions whether a theory of international justice is a hopeless activity. ?Prescriptions about international justice, presuppose the existence of a moral standpoint which transcends the ethical traditions of particular cultures, and are thus subject to post-modernist criticisms of transcendentalism and ?totalizing? theories or to communitarian complaints about individualist approaches to ethical justification.?(Thompson1992:19) Critics of a ?cosmopolitan international morality? propose that

theories attempting to validate policies by reference to human rights, the desirability of universal liberalism or eternal peace do not stem from a viable premise. The problem with Beitz?s picture of the subject is that he assumes characteristics of individuals, which are not universally true. His conception of the individual is inadequate. Beitz?s universalistic morality is criticized by communitarians who argue ?that the concept of the impartial moral agent, the transcendental ego of Kantian philosophy is incoherent and thus the moral principles of ethical standpoint which this self is supposed to validate are meaningless?(Thompson1992:18). According to Richarch Porty, this ?self? is a network of deeply rooted, historical and social beliefs and emotions, which continually