In this essay Rorty argues that care or concern alone is inadequate for dealing with problems of Third World poverty; neither is there likely to be a convenient technological fix. There is no evading the hard decisions that global poverty will require of the rich nations, and there is no way past E. M. Forster’s dictum, in Howard’s End, that “We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet.” Most of Rorty’s essay focuses on works of Forster demonstrating that, in Rorty’s words, “tenderness only appears . . . when there is enough money to produce a little leisure, a little time in which to love. . . . The cash value of the Christian ideal of universal brotherhood has, for the last two centuries, been the conviction that once science and technology have produced enough wealth—and enlightened, unselfish political initiatives have redistributed it—there will be no one left who is incapable of tenderness. All human beings will live in the light; all of them will be possible characters in novels.”

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