Christian Neuhäuser

Published On


Page Range

pp. 271–296


  • English

Print Length

26 pages

11. The Self-Respect Argument for Limitarianism

Limitarianism is the view that justice requires the limitation of wealth, at least under certain conditions. In its original form the view was developed by Ingrid Robeyns and normatively justified by the use of two arguments, the democratic argument and the argument from unmet urgent needs. In this chapter I want to contribute to the justification of limitarianism by providing a novel argument for limitarianism which is distinct from the two arguments developed by Robeyns. This argument is based on self-respect as a primary basic good. According to this argument, limitarianism is needed to protect the social basis of self-respect of all members of society so that they can develop a sense of self-worth and pursue their personal projects. Since this kind of self-respect is a more important basic good than wealth above a certain threshold, limitarianism can be justified either as a principle of justice or as a direct policy implication of the principles of justice, if it turns out to be required to secure the social basis of self-respect.


Christian Neuhäuser

Professor of Political Philosophy at TU Dortmund University

Christian Neuhäuser is Professor of Political Philosophy at TU Dortmund University. His research focuses on theories of dignity, theories of responsibility, philosophy of economics and philosophy of international relations. He is a member of the Green Academy and editor of The Journal for Business, Economics & Ethics. He studied Philosophy, Sinology and Sociology in Göttingen, Berlin and Hong Kong and received his Ph.D. from the University of Potsdam with a thesis on “Corporations as Moral Actors”. He has published in Review of Social Economy, Philosophy Compass, Moral Philosophy and Politics, and Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, among other places.