Global justice as a field must confront a central problem: how global is global justice? A defining feature about the burgeoning literature in global justice is its operation within a bounded, philosophical tradition. Global justice research is too often a product of one tradition in self-isolation from others that nonetheless claims to speak for what is best for all. This criticism applies to various philosophical traditions whether so-called “analytic,” “Continental” or others. The problem is that each tradition too often works independently from others to construct new ideas about the promotion of global justice: these ideas are designed by some for application to all. “Global” justice may have an international reach, but it too often lacks a more global character. The development of a more global approach to global justice raises several vexing questions. What does it mean to have a “global” approach to global justice? How “global” should any such approach be? And how can a coherent and compelling model for it be constructed?
This chapter develops a new approach for a more distinctly global view of global justice: the idea of global philosophy. Most approaches to global justice are developed within bounded philosophical traditions. One problem is that each offers contributions to global justice that is constricted by the narrow bounds of their particular tradition. The issue is not only that global justice may be overly culturally-specific, but rather that bounded traditions close off important resources for addressing philosophical problems that can be accessed through closer engagement with other philosophical traditions. A global philosophy is then a more “unbound philosophy” better suited for a globalized world. Our world is ever-changing with ideas and people travelling as never before. It is time for philosophy to catch up with these developments and this chapter will explain why and how.