A Theory of Secession by Christopher Heath Wellman

By Christopher Heath Wellman

Providing an unapologetic safeguard of the correct to secede, Christopher Heath Wellman argues that any team has an ethical correct to secede so long as its political divorce will depart it and the remaining kingdom capable of practice the needful political capabilities. He explains that there's not anything contradictory approximately valuing valid states, whereas allowing their department. hence, if one values self-determination, then one has solid cause to finish that folks have a correct to figure out their political limitations.

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Ironically, while some may trumpet the virtues of clarity and simplicity, it is precisely those qualities that lead most theorists to reject a model of rights as general and absolute. The plain truth is that ethical issues do not always admit of simple solutions; quite the contrary, moral quandaries are often convoluted matters involving complex responses that cannot be deduced from simple rules or explained in terms of general and absolute rights. Above all, we should not accept counterintuitive substantive conclusions for the sake of preserving explanatory simplicity.

In particular, I suggest that a group has a right to secede just in case it and its remainder state would be able and willing to perform the requisite political functions. If either the separatist group or the rump state would be unable or unwilling to protect its constituents’ basic moral rights, then these harmful circumstances explain why the separatist group’s political selfdetermination may permissibly be limited. If both the separatist group and the rump state are capable of maintaining a secure and just political environment, however, then the political divorce would not be excessively harmful, and there is no sufficiently compelling justification for denying political self-determination.

But even in these cases, any failure to perform a duty invokes causal citations for its abnormality, not for its immorality. In the end, though, I suspect Feinberg wants to suggest that samaritan inactions can be considered causes from a nonexplanatory standpoint. 31 This notion of causation may be illuminating in some contexts, but it cannot be useful in samaritan cases for two reasons. First, this nonexplanatory cause seems incompatible with the causal component of the harm principle, which requires that the conduct produce the harmful state of affairs.

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