David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Res Publica 15 (1):1-16 (2009)
The dominant focus of thinking about economic justice is overwhelmingly distributive, that is, concerned with what people get in terms of resources and opportunities. It views work mainly negatively, as a burden or cost, or else is neutral about it, rather than seeing it as a source of meaning and fulfilment—a good in its own right. However, what we do in life has at least as much, if not more, influence on whom we become, as does what we get . Thus we have good reason also to be concerned with what Paul Gomberg has termed contributive justice , that is, justice as regards what people are expected and able to contribute in terms of work. Complex, interesting work allows workers not only to develop and exercise their capacities, and gain the satisfaction from achieving the internal goods of a practice, but to gain the external goods of recognition and esteem. As Gomberg’s analysis of the concept of contributive justice in relation to equality of opportunity shows, as long as the more satisfying kinds of work are concentrated into a subset of jobs, rather than shared out among all jobs, then many workers will be denied the chance to have meaningful work and the recognition that goes with it. In this paper I examine the contributive justice argument, suggest how it can be further strengthened, arguing, inter alia, that ignoring contributive injustice tends to support legitimations of distributive inequality.
|Keywords||Contibutive justice Equality Unequal social division of labour Meaningful work|
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Pierre Bourdieu (1998). Practical Reason. Mind 74 (294):174-191.
Keith Breen (2007). Work and Emancipatory Practice: Towards a Recovery of Human Beings' Productive Capacities. Res Publica 13 (4):381-414.
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Citations of this work BETA
Samuel Arnold (2011). The Difference Principle at Work. Journal of Political Philosophy 20 (1):94-118.
David A. Spencer (2013). Promoting High Quality Work: Obstacles and Opportunities. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 114 (3):583-597.
Christopher Michaelson, Michael G. Pratt, Adam M. Grant & Craig P. Dunn (2014). Meaningful Work: Connecting Business Ethics and Organization Studies. Journal of Business Ethics 121 (1):77-90.
Jonathan Seglow (2013). Marginalization as Non-Contribution. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (3):459-473.
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