One of the central questions in political philosophy, or perhaps one of the most intuitive initial framings, is "what do we owe each other?". I prefer to ask this question as a foundational one; one which we ask while the different ways we might structure society, property, and rights or legal norms are in place. We ask it that early because an answer to it might help us decide what specifics to offer. If we were, for example, to ask this question after a system of property or rights or similar are in place, we've already curtailed the number of answers to a question like this; we might not be able to consider oweing each other much of anything if we ask the question after having a well worked-out philosophy that excludes concerns like this. This isn't to suggest that this is the only worthwhile question, but rather that an answer to it would amount to a foundational concern that should, with other such concerns, should provide substantial structure.
The problem remains broad; I initially segment it into two bundles of questions:
- What do we owe each other materially? What do we owe each other institutionally?
- What do we owe each other in treatment? In a one-on-one fashion? In a broad social fashion?
- What do we owe each other absolutely?
- What do we owe each other provisionally? Provisionally dependent on circumstance? Provisionally dependent on action?