Public opinion and political philosophy: The relation between social-scientific and philosophical analyses of distributive justice [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (4):337-363 (1999)
This paper considers the relation between philosophical discussions of, and social-scientific research into popular beliefs about, distributive justice. The first part sets out the differences and tensions between the two perspectives, identifying considerations which tend to lead adherents of each discipline to regard the other as irrelevant to its concerns. The second discusses four reasons why social scientists might benefit from philosophy: problems in identifying inconsistency, the fact that non-justice considerations might underlie distributive judgments, the way in which different principles of justice can yield the same concrete distributive judgments, and the ambiguity of key terms. The third part distinguishes and evaluates three versions of the claim that normative theorising about justice can profit from empirical research into public opinion: that its findings are food for thought, that they amount to feasibility constraints, and that they are constitutive of normatively justified principles of justice. The view that popular opinion about justice has a strongly constitutive role to play in justifying principles of distributive justice stricto sensu is rejected, but it is argued that what the people think (and what they can reasonably be expected to come to think) on distributive matters can be an important factor for the political theorist to take into account, for reasons of legitimacy, or feasibility, or both.
|Keywords||desert distributive justice public opinion John Rawls social justice Michael Walzer|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Albert W. Musschenga (2005). Empirical Ethics, Context-Sensitivity, and Contextualism. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (5):467 – 490.
Similar books and articles
Saul Smilansky (2006). Control, Desert and the Difference Between Distributive and Retributive Justice. Philosophical Studies 131 (3):511 - 524.
Shawna Gutfreund, Doing Justice Justice : Distinguishing Social Justice From Distributive Justice and the Implications for Bioethics.
Carl Knight & Zofia Stemplowska Carl (2011). Responsibility and Distributive Justice: An Introduction. In Carl Knight & Zofia Stemplowska (eds.), Responsibility and Distributive Justice. Oxford University Press
Klaus R. Scherer (ed.) (1992). Justice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.
Kevin M. Graham (2000). After the Buses Stop Running. Social Philosophy Today 16:59-76.
David Miller (2009). Justice and Boundaries. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (3):291-309.
Sagar Sanyal (2012). A Defence of Democratic Egalitarianism. Journal of Philosophy 109 (7):413-34.
James R. Kluegel (2008). Social Justice and Political Change: Public Opinion in Capitalist and Post-Communist States. Aldinetransaction.
Mark Coeckelbergh (2009). Distributive Justice and Co-Operation in a World of Humans and Non-Humans: A Contractarian Argument for Drawing Non-Humans Into the Sphere of Justice. Res Publica 15 (1):67-84.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads60 ( #70,526 of 1,796,309 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #348,557 of 1,796,309 )
How can I increase my downloads?