Out-Kanting Rawls: An Argument for Responsibility-Sensitive Theories of Justice from an Autonomy-Based Account of Normativity

Dialogue 48 (02):353- (2009)
Abstract
ABSTRACT: When considering normative concepts, such as distributive justice, one must consider both the question how concepts can have normative force and which particular conceptions of these concepts have this normative force. In this article I consider the view that the human capacity for autonomy accounts for normativity, and argue that adopting this view commits one to a responsibility-sensitive theory of distributive justice. This conclusion puts me directly at odds with the work of John Rawls, who derives his responsibility-insensitive difference principle from a similar account of autonomy. However, I argue that such an argument would be based on a mischaracterisation of what is significant about the human capacity for autonomy. RÉSUMÉ : Pour envisager des concepts normatifs, tels que la justice distributive, il faut à la fois considérer la question de savoir comment les concepts peuvent avoir une force normative et se demander aussi quelles conceptions de ces concepts en sont dotés. Cet article considère que la capacité propre à l’humain d’être autonome rend compte de la normativité nous engage à adopter une théorie de justice distributive qui est sensible à la responsabilité. Cette conclusion entre directement en conflit les théories de Rawls, qui tire d’une explication similaire sur l’autonomie son principe de responsabilité qui ne tient pas compte de la différence. Un tel argument se fonde sur une mauvaise caractérisation de ce qui est important dans la capacité propre à l’humain d’être autonome
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Carl Knight (2011). Responsibility, Desert, and Justice. In Carl Knight & Zofia Stemplowska (eds.), Responsibility and Distributive Justice. Oxford University Press.
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