Is "who matters" a question in philosophy? Specifically, I'm asking how to decide when a "special obligation" to someone (e.g. a friend: but can these sorts of obligations be extended almost indefinitely?) is not trumped by any other obligation, moral or otherwise.
it seems that we have obligations to aid and support our friends that go well beyond those we have to help strangers because they are our friends, much like we parents have special duties to aid and support our children because they are our children. ... the question arises as to what the relationship is between such special duties of friendship and other duties, in particular moral duties: can our obligations to our friends sometimes trump our moral duties, or must we always subordinate our personal relationships to morality in order to be properly impartial (as, it might be thought, morality demands)?
Prima facie, I would say I am more obligated to assist in the well being of people I am especially well placed to help (by which I essentially mean who I can help more than I can others, not necessarily - though it isn't irrelevant if well being has a sweet spot - who I can help more than anyone else can) than I am anyone else, and that this subsumes the special obligations of friendship and family (if either exist, and whether or not either can trump our moral obligations).
But is that too glib?