Justice, incentives and constructivism

Ratio 21 (4):476-493 (2008)
In Rescuing Justice and Equality , G. A. Cohen reiterates his critique of John Rawls's difference principle as a justification for inequality-generating incentives, and also argues that Rawls's ambition to provide a constructivist defence of the first principles of justice is doomed. Cohen's arguments also suggest a natural response to my earlier attempt to defend the basic structure objection to Cohen's critique, which I term the alien factors reply. This paper criticises the reply, and Cohen's more general argument against Rawls's constructivism. 1.
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