Multinational Corporations and Global Justice: Human Rights Obligations of a Quasi-Governmental Institution

By Florian Wettstein | Go to book overview

Notes

Chapter 1

1. In this book I will use the term liberal in the traditional political philosophical sense rather than in reference to the cluster of political positions that are denoted as liberal (i.e., “leist”) in the Anglo-Americandiscussion of current affairs. Neoliberalism, as used in this book, denotes a form of market liberalism that emerged in the early 1970s and found its most influential practical manifestation in the Reagan/ Thatcher free-market doctrines. Underlying neoliberalism is a mind-set of libertarianism, which emphasizes personal liberty and the unrestricted pursuit of self-interest. For an in-depth analysis of the underlying premises and of the history of neoliberalism see David Harvey's short but concise book A Brief History of Neoliberalism (2007).

2. The difference between athorough philosophical utilitarianism and such normative doctrines with utilitarian content can be made clear by following Thom as Scanlon's elaborations: “The term 'utilitarianism' is generally used to refer to a family of specific normative doctrines—doctrines which might beheld on the basis of a number of different philosophical theses about the nature of morality. In this sense of the term one might, for example, be autilitarian on intuitionist or on contractualist grounds. But what I will call 'philosophical utilitarianism' is aparticular philosophical thesis that the only fundamental moral facts are facts about individual well-being” (Scanlon 1982, 108). Neoliberal doctrines, as we will see, unfold their utilitarian implications predominantly on contractarian—and thus Rawlsian—grounds.


Chapter 2

1. For Hume himself, the circumstances of justice essentially arise under conditions of scarcity of property and possessions. See Hume (1997, 13ff.; sec. 3, pt. 1), as well as Hume (1992, 484ff.; bk. 3, sec. 2).

2. It is in this aspect that Kant's attempt to derive an absolute justification from an understanding of pure reason as atranscendental human characteristic must necessarily fail. Kant's account of absolute, transcendental reason is problematic because it does not entirely succeed in overcoming traditionalistic conceptions of morals. In

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