Who are those in need? (in Polish)

Main Article Content

Paweł Łuków


The standard view of the duty to help those in need suggests that it is acceptable to refuse to help others who are known to be in need and who can be assisted. This conclusion can be avoided if helping is seen from the perspective of Kant’s idea of the duty of beneficence. On this view help should not be seen as stemming from the recognition of contingent differences between those who are inclined to help and those who are in need, nor as a one-time response to evil, or as an act close to heroism. Help should be seen as an element of the pursuit of one of the ends which are also duties, i.e. as the promotion of the happiness of others and, at the same time, the self-perfection of the helping person. Helping results from a stable readiness to act for the benefit of others, which stems from one’s recognition of the weakness, limitation, and lack of self-sufficiency which are common to all humans, and so are shared by both the helper and the person in need.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Łuków, Paweł. 2010. “Who Are Those in Need? (in Polish)”. Diametros, no. 26 (December):154-65. https://doi.org/10.13153/diam.26.2010.419.
Special topic – Global justice
Author Biography

Paweł Łuków

Paweł Łuków, dr hab. profesor w Instytucie Filozofii UW, adiunkt w Szkole Zdrowia Publicznego CMKP.
Share |


Hardin [1974] – G. Hardin, Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor, ”Psychology Today” (8) 1974: 38-43, 123-126.

Kamm [2000] – F.M. Kamm, Does Distance Matter Morally to the Duty to Rescue?, “Law and Philosophy” 19 (6) 2000: 655-681.

Kant [1902] – I. Kant, Kants gesammelte Schriften: herausgegeben von der Deutschen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin, Walter de Gruyter 1902.

Kant [2005] – I. Kant, Metafizyczne podstawy nauki o cnocie, przeł. W. Galewicz, Kęty, Wydawnictwo Antyk 2005.

Singer [1972] – P. Singer, Famine, Affluence, and Morality, “Philosophy and Public Affairs” (1) 1972: 229-243.

Wolf [1982] – S. Wolf, Moral Saints, “The Journal of Philosophy” 79 (8) 1982: 419-439.