Open Perfectionism and Global Justice

in Theoria
Author: Thaddeus Metz
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In Cosmopolitan Justice1 Darrel Moellendorf defends several substantive theses about justice by appealing to the Kantian principle of respect for persons. He claims that respect for persons has the following rough implications (among others): it requires states to enact liberal legislation; it permits them to interfere with religious or otherwise perfectionist regimes; it forbids them from restricting immigration for perfectionist ends; and it requires them to permit secession. In this article, I do not question Moellendorf’s Kantian foundation; I accept that it is of the utmost importance not to degrade the dignity of rational agents. What I do here is question the inferences from this principle to the above conclusions.


A Journal of Social and Political Theory


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