David Lyons is one of the preeminent philosophers of law active in the United States. This volume comprises essays written over a period of twenty years in which Professor Lyons outlines his fundamental views about the nature of law and its relation to morality and justice. The underlying theme of the book is that a system of law has only a tenuous connection with morality and justice. Contrary to those legal theorists who maintain that no matter how bad the law (...) of a community might be, strict conformity to existing law automatically dispenses "formal" justice, Professor Lyons contends that the law must earn the respect that it demands. Moreover, we cannot, as some would suggest, interpret law in a value-neutral manner. Rather courts should interpret statutes, judicial precedents, and constitutional provisions in terms of values that would justify those laws. In this way officials can promote the justifiability of what they do to people in the name of law, and can help the law live up to its moral pretensions. (shrink)
This book looks at the civil justice system - the courts and what they do; legal aid and other methods of providing access to justice; lawyers and their conduct; and the role of legal procedure. It also looks at the impact the civil justice system has on wider society, and its relationship with economics and commercial development. The book is largely focussed on Britain, but includes material from the USA, the Indian sub-continent, south-east Asia, and Aboriginal society in Australia.
This book addresses the retributive and "orthodox subjectivist" theories that dominate criminal justice theory alongside recent "revisionist" and "postmodern" approaches. Norrie argues that all these approaches, together with their faults and contradictions, stem from their orientation to themes in Kantian moral philosophy. He explores an alternative relational or dialectical approach; examines the work of Ashworth, Duff, Fletcher, Moore, Smith, and Williams; and considers key doctrinal issues.
This new text will encourage students to develop a deeper understanding of the context and the current workings of the criminal justice system. Part One offers a clear, accessible and comprehensive review of the major philosophical aims and sociological theories of punishment, the history of justice and punishment, and the developing perspective of victimology. In Part Two, the focus is on the main areas of the contemporary criminal justice system including the police, the courts and judiciary, prisons, and community penalties. (...) The active engagement of students with the material covered distinguishes this text from others in the area and makes it a real teaching resource and invaluable text. (shrink)
Thompson considers the concept of international justice as it has developed in political theory from Hobbes to the present day, and develops a theory designed to take account of both individual freedom and differences among communities. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
The Pigou-Dalton (PD) principle recommends a non-leaky, non-rank-switching transfer of goods from someone with more goods to someone with less. This Article defends the PD principle as an aspect of distributive justice—enabling the comparison of two distributions, neither completely equal, as more or less just. It shows how the PD principle flows from a particular view, adumbrated by Thomas Nagel, about the grounding of distributive justice in individuals’ “claims.” And it criticizes two competing frameworks for thinking about justice that less (...) clearly support the principle: the veil-of-ignorance framework, and Larry Temkin’s proposal that fairer distributions are those concerning which individuals have fewer “complaints.” -/- The Article also clarifies the relation between the PD principle and prioritarianism. Prioritarians will surely endorse the PD principle (with the “good” individual well-being), but they are also committed to a distinct axiom of separability: the moral value of someone’s well-being change does not depend upon her position relative to others. The PD principle neither implies separability, nor is implied by it. Although prioritarianism is very plausible, the case for the PD principle is yet more compelling than for the combination of that principle with separability. In discussing prioritarianism, we should differentiate between these two, logically independent aspects of the view. -/- . (shrink)
The problem of standard-of-care in clinical research concerns the level of care that investigators ought to provide to research subjects in the control arm of their clinical trials. Commentators differ sharply on whether subjects in trials conducted in lower income countries should be provided with the same level of care as subjects in trials conducted in higher income countries. I consider an argument that commentators have employed on both sides of this debate: professional role arguments. These arguments claim to justify (...) a conclusion to the standard-of-care problem solely by appeal to the professional obligations that investigators possess. I argue that prominent versions of professional role arguments cannot justify a solution to the problem of standard-of-care that is both determinate and reasonable simply by appeal to the professional obligations of investigators. Instead, to do so, one must also (1) determine the level of care or types of treatment that individuals are entitled to as a matter of distributive justice, and (2) identify which agents possess the duties that correspond to these entitlements. The level of care that investigators owe to subjects in the control arm of their clinical trials is thus in part dependent on the level of care that these subjects are entitled to as a matter of distributive justice, and whether it is the investigators who possess the corresponding distributive obligation to provide them with the care that they are entitled to. (shrink)
In my 1990 work – Marxism, Morality, and Social Justice – I argued for four modifications of Rawls’s principles of social justice and rendered a modified version of his theory in four principles, the first of which is the Basic Rights Principle demanding the protection of people’s security and subsistence rights. In both his Political Liberalism (1993) and Justice as Fairness (2001) Rawls explicitly refers to my version of his theory, clearly accepting three of my four proposed modifications but rejecting (...) the fourth -- the demand for social and economic (in addition to political) democracy – on grounds that it automatically justifies socialism as opposed to capitalism. I argue, contrary to Rawls, that it is not true that this demand automatically picks (democratic) socialism as the preferable socioeconomic/political system and that a Social and Economic Democracy Principle demanding workplace and neighborhood democracy is officially neutral between these two systems … although plausible empirical assumptions may, indeed, favor the former. I then reprise my second version of Rawls’s theory of social justice which is composed of the following principles arranged in a very strong order of priority (if not quite a lexical order): (1) Basic Rights Principle, (2) Equal Basic Liberties Principle, (3) Fair Equality of Opportunity Principle, (4) Modified Difference Principle, and (5) Social and Economic Democracy Principle. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction and overview; 2. The nature of forgiveness and resentment; 3. The moral analysis of the attitudes of forgiveness and resentment defined; 4. The moral analysis of the attitudes of self-forgiveness and self-condemnation; 5. Philosophical underpinnings of the basic attitudes: forgiveness, resentment, and the nature of persons; 6. Moral theory: justice and desert; 7. The public response to wrongdoing; 8. Restorative justice: the public response to wrongdoing and the process of addressing the wrong.
Recent literature on the relationship between knowledge and justice has tended to focus exclusively on the social and ethical dimensions of this relationship (e.g. social injustices related to knowledge and power, etc.). For the purposes of this article, I am interested in examining the virtue of justice and its effects on the cognitive faculties of its possessor (and, correspondingly, the effects of the vice of injustice). Drawing upon Thomas Aquinas’s account of the virtue of justice, I argue that in certain (...) cases justice can be a criterion of epistemic evaluation and that it deserves more attention than it has been given among virtue epistemologists. More precisely, the virtue of justice may become a criterion of epistemic evaluation in cases when a belief is formed on the basis of testimony. It would seem that there are cases when A’s assent to proposition p is something that is owed to B on the basis of B’s testimony; or there may be instances when A is culpable for declining to let B’s testimony have any effect on A’s belief. I briefly sketch four distinct scenarios in which this bears out. (shrink)
In his celebrated work, A Theory of Justice (1971), John Rawls argues that, from behind the veil of ignorance, parties in the original position will employ the maximin decision rule to reason to his two principles of justice. In this journal, Olatunji Oyeshile offers a brief and concise outline of some of the historical criticisms of that argument. Oyeshile offers two important criticisms of Rawls' argument. Both, however, are somewhat misplaced, as I shall show. First, he claims that decision theory (...) offers parties in the original position other decision procedures. In fact, none of the alternatives are suitable, given the situation. And second, parties in the original position would first guarantee some minimum of libertarian goods, and then seek additional profits. This objection demonstrates a misunderstanding of the place of the maximin decision rule, as I shall show. -/- I believe that both criticisms stem from a close and careful reading of Buchanan's essay on Rawls. Unfortunately, Buchanan himself seemed to have misunderstood Rawls' original arguments. I rely on problems in Buchanan's original work to defend Rawls' theory against Oyeshile's criticisms. (shrink)
In this essay, I address one methodological aspect of Victor Tadros's The Ends of Harm--namely, the moral character of the theory of criminal punishment it defends. First, I offer a brief reconstruction of this dimension of the argument, highlighting some of its distinctive strengths while drawing attention to particular inconsistencies. I then argue that Tadros ought to refrain from developing this approach in terms of an overly narrow understanding of the morality of harming as fully unified and reconciled under the (...) lone heading of justice. In a final and most critical section, I offer arguments for why this reconciliatory commitment, further constrained by a misplaced emphasis on corrective justice, generates major problems for his general deterrence account of the core justification of criminal punishment. (shrink)
The dominant and deceptively simple theme of this book is the relationship between the moral environment of the courtroom and that of the society in which the court is situated. Like other Past and Present conference proceedings, the volume ranges widely across time and space, from ancient Greece to twentieth-century Africa. As a consequence, it encompasses not only the highly professional legal systems of the Roman, later medieval and modern worlds, but also the relatively unprofessionalised courts of classical Athens and (...) of the early middle ages and the alien, imposed legal systems of colonial Rhodesia and Kenya. The Moral World of the Law is based upon papers delivered at the conference of that name, sponsored by the journal Past and Present and held at the University of Birmingham in 1996. (shrink)
This collection brings together well-established scholars to examine the limits of law, a topic that has been of broad interest since the events of 9/11 and the responses of U.S. law and policy to those events. The limiting conditions explored in this volume include marking law’s relationship to acts of terror, states of emergency, gestures of surrender, payments of reparations, offers of amnesty, and invocations of retroactivity. These essays explore how law is challenged, frayed, and constituted out of contact with (...) conditions that lie at the farthest reaches of its empirical and normative force. (shrink)
Sen argues that Rawls’ political theory suffers from the flaw of “institutional fundamentalism.” In response, he develops an alternate theory of justice that does not rely upon contractarian premises. I argue that Sen’s theory largely maps on to the insights of classic pragmatist thought. Further, the pragmatic tradition can help critique and supplement Sen’s project.
A Treatise of Human Nature was published between 1739 and 1740. Book I, entitled Of the Understanding, contains Hume's epistemology, i.e., his account of the manner in which we acquire knowledge in general, its justification (to the extent that he thought it could be justified), and its limits. Book II, entitled Of the Passions, expounds most of what could be called Hume's philosophy of psychology in general, and his moral psychology (including discussions of the problem of the freedom of the (...) will and the rationality of action) in particular. Book III, entitled Of Morals, is also divided into three parts. Part II of Book III, entitled Of justice and injustice, is the subject of the present volume. In it Hume attempts to give an empiricist theory of justice. He rejects the view, approximated to in varying degrees by Cumberland, Cudworth, Locke, Clarke, Wollaston, and Butler, that justice is something natural and part of the nature of things, and that its edicts are eternal and immutable, and discernible by reason. Hume maintains, on the contrary, as did Hobbes and Mandeville, that justice is a matter of observing rules or conventions which are of human invention, and that, in consequence, our acquiring a knowledge of justice is an empirical affair of ascertaining what these rules or conventions are. (shrink)
In the latter half of the twentieth century, there has been a sharp decline in confidence in sentencing principles, due to a questioning of the efficacy of punishment. It has been very difficult to develop consistent, fair, and humane criteria for evaluating legislative, judicial and correctional advancements. The Practice of Punishment offers a comprehensive study of punishment that identifies the principles of sentencing and corrections on which modern correctional systems should be built. The theory of punishment that emerges is built (...) on the view that the central function of the law is to reduce the need to use force in the resolutions of disputes. In this text, Wesley Cragg argues that the proper role of sentencing and sentence administration, as well as policing and adjudication, is to sustain public confidence in the capacity of the law to fulfill that function. Cragg believes that sentencing and corrections should be guided by principles of restorative justice, and he contends that inflicting punishment is in itself not a legitimate objective of criminal law. The Practice of Punishment is a philosophical account of punishment, sentencing, and correction which draws strongly on first-hand experience of penal practices, diverse recent studies, government reports, position papers, crime surveys, and victim concerns. It will be of special interest to applied ethicists, those concerned with the theory and practice of punishment and policing, and criminal justice scholars and lawyers. (shrink)
Justice and Health Care: Selected Essays collects, in a systematic but non-chronological fashion, ten of Buchanan’s most significant essays on justice and health care, written over a period of almost three decades. As the Obama administration continues to struggle to implement much-needed comprehensive health care reform in the hopes of controlling rising health care costs and extending affordable health care to over 46 million uninsured Americans , there could hardly be a more appropriate time to read Buchanan’s selected essays (...) ... (shrink)
How have legal philosophers systemized law, and what types of assumptions have they made in undertaking this task? In what sense is law a system, and how is it maintained as such? This translation of a French book answers these two core inter-related questions by surveying and analyzing the theories of a number of important European legal philosophers as well as offering its own distinct theory for viewing the law as a system.
Theorists of global justice confront an apparent dilemma. If citizens in the developed world have duties of (socio-economic) justice to those elsewhere on the globe, then it is supposed that the duties must be very extensive indeed, requiring the same concern to be shown for everyone on earth. Those who deny that global obligations are as extensive as domestic obligations seem therefore to have to concede that any obligations beyond borders must be based on charity, rather than justice. The assumption (...) on which this dilemma is based is that 'justice is uniform'. In this paper I argue that such an assumption should be rejected in favour of the view that justice is relative to norms of cooperation. Consequently it is possible to develop a view of 'justice but not the same justice': the ‘layers of justice’ view. (shrink)
In this paper I raise three challenges for Moellendorf's account of cosmopolitan justice. First, I argue that in a reconstructed cosmopolitan original position we would choose a 'needs-based minimum floor principle' rather than a 'global difference principle', if these are not co-extensive. Second, I argue that Moellendorf's version of the 'equality of opportunity principle' is too vulnerable to criticisms of cultural insensitivity, though I also note that there are problems with versions of the ideal that aim for a more general (...) formulation. I argue that those trying to develop an ideal of global equality of opportunity thus face a dilemma concerning how best to develop that ideal. Third, I review Moellendorf's account of justified intervention and indicate how we could make space for the importance of gaining proper authority under appropriate circumstance, without formally including it as a further necessary condition for justified interventions. (shrink)
The question I want to answer is if and how the recognition approach, taken from the works of Axel Honneth, could be an adequate framework for addressing the problems of global justice and poverty. My thesis is that such a globalization of the recognition approach rests on the dialectic of relative and absolute elements of recognition. (1) First, I will discuss the relativism of the recognition approach, that it understands recognition as being relative to a certain society or a set (...) of institutions. The same is true for various forms of disrespect such as denigration or exclusion. The recognition approach is a form of internal reconstructive critique, which does not want to refer to absolute or ahistorical standards. (2) Second, I show that this relative understanding of recognition and disrespect rests on an absolute core of recognition, which transcends any given society. In short, this core is the possibility of undistorted self-realization, which is the main and universal element of a good life. Such an absolute core is necessary for distinguishing between justified and unjustified claims of relative recognition. It also serves as the normative benchmark for any society. (3) Finally, I will discuss the relation of these relative and absolute elements of recognition against the background of global justice. Claims of recognition can refer to this absolute core and demand that intersubjective conditions and social relations should change in order to make undistorted self-realization possible. This is the main point of reference for a recognition-based concept of global justice. (shrink)
Are positive duties to help others in need mere informal duties of virtue or can they also be enforceable duties of justice? In this paper I defend the claim that some positive duties (which I call basic positive duties) can be duties of justice against one of the most important prin- cipled objections to it. This is the libertarian challenge, according to which only negative duties to avoid harming others can be duties of justice, whereas positive duties (basic or nonbasic) (...) must be seen, at best, as informal moral requirements or recommendations. I focus on the contractarian version of the libertarian challenge as recently presented by Jan Narveson. I claim that Narveson’s contractarian construal of libertarianism is not only intuitively weak, but is also subject to decisive internal problems. I argue, in particular, that it does not pro- vide a clear rationale for distinguishing between informal duties of virtue and enforceable duties of justice, that it can neither successfully justify libertarianism’s protection of negative rights nor its denial of positive ones, and that it fails to undermine the claim that basic positive duties are duties of global justice. -/- . (shrink)
This paper aims to outline the essential structural traits that a procedural theory of justice for the management of conflicts about values should display in order to combine open-endedness and cogency. To this purpose, it offers an investigation into the characteristics of procedural justice through a critical assessment of John Rawls‟s taxonomy of proceduralism, in terms of perfect, imperfect and pure procedural justice. Given the concessions the two former kinds of proceduralism make to substantive theories, and the potentially misleading characterisation (...) Rawls gave of pure procedural theories of justice, it reformulates the latter category in terms of impure proceduralism. In this case, the theory is required not to pose substantive constraints on the qualities of just outcomes, but is, rather, expected to provide a trans-contextually applicable account of the qualities of just procedures on the basis of an independent criterion of justice. (shrink)
In "Torts, Egalitarianism and Distributive Justice" (Ashgate, 2007), Tsachi Keren-Paz presents impressingly detailed analysis that bolsters the case in favour of incremental tort law reform. However, although this book's greatest strength is the depth of analysis offered, at the same time supporters of radical law reform proposals may interpret the complexity of the solution that is offered (and its respective cost) as conclusive proof that tort law can only take adequate account of egalitarian aims at an unacceptably high cost.
In recent years, political philosophers have hotly debated whether ordinary citizens have a general pro tanto moral obligation to follow the law. Contemporary philosophers have had less to say about the same question when applied to public officials. In this paper, I consider the latter question in the morally complex context of criminal justice. I argue that criminal justice officials have no general pro tanto moral obligation to adhere to the legal dictates and lawful rules of their offices. My claim (...) diverges not only from the commonsense view about such officials, but also from the positions standardly taken in legal theory and political science debates, which presume there is some general obligation that must arise from legal norms and be reconciled with political realities. I defend my claim by highlighting the conceptual gap between the rigid, generalised, codified rules that define a criminal justice office and the special moral responsibilities of the various moral roles that may underpin that office (such as guard, guardian, healer, educator, mediator, counsellor, advocate, and carer). After addressing four objections to my view, I consider specific contexts in which criminal justice officials are obligated not to adhere to the demands of their offices. Amongst other things, the arguments advanced in this paper raise questions about both the distribution of formal discretion in the criminal justice system and the normative validity of some of the offices that presently exist in criminal justice systems. (shrink)
From Schmidtz, one might expect a theory of justice, basically along libertarian lines. The book may surprise, though not disappoint, for that is not quite what one would find. Instead, the title is apt. Schmidtz says that there is a terrain of justice, the terrain of what people are due, and it has a certain kind of unity.
There is a great deal that might be said about justice in property claims. The strategy that I shall employ focuses attention upon the initial acquisition of property -- the most sensitive and most interesting area of property theory. Every theory that discusses property claims favorably assumes that there is some justification for transforming previously unowned resources into property. It is often this assumption which has seemed, to one extent or another, to be vulnerable to attack by critics of particular (...) justifications of property. Nevertheless, this assumption is frequently left undefended by property theorists, and where it is defended, the defense is often remarkably weak. That some initial claim to property be defensible is required by any theory which holds that certain present distributions may be justified, that certain transfers of property are justified, or that restitution ought to be made for previous injustice in transfer or acquisition. The initial acquisition of property, and its justification, is crucial to the remainder of property theory. (shrink)
This article aims to investigate the way in which a political theory of justice should respond to the endorsement of pluralism. After offering reasons in support of the necessity for such a theory to take pluralism seriously, an argument is put forward for its characterization in minimal and procedural terms. However, taking issue with the straightforward relationship of implication identified by a number of scholars between pluralism and procedural justice, this article contends that a direct relation can only be established (...) between pluralism and the need to define a minimal theory of justice, i.e. a theory that assumes as little as possible in terms of values and views of the world. Its procedural formulation is seen, instead, as a consequence of the limited predictive power of theory facing the heterogeneous situations with which it is expected to deal. (shrink)
Analysing the demands of global justice for the distribution of resources is a complex task and requires consideration of a broad range of issues. Of particular relevance is the effect that different distributions will have on global population growth and individual welfare. Since changes in the consumption and distribution of resources can have major effects on the welfare of the global population, and the rate at which it increases, it is important to establish meaningful principles to ensure a just distribution (...) of resources. In order to establish such principles we must consider the scope of any reproductive rights, and rights to other goods, such as food and health care, as well as examine the extent of duties correlating to those rights. In addition to the impact that distributions of global goods have on the welfare of current generations, it is also important to consider what duties we have, if any, to future generations. (shrink)
During the 2007–2008 global food crisis, the prices of primary foods, in particular, peaked. Subsequently, governments concerned about food security and investors keen to capitalize on profit-maximizing opportunities undertook large-scale land acquisitions (LASLA) in, predominantly, least developed countries (LDCs). Economically speaking, this market reaction is highly welcome, as it should (1) improve food security and lower prices through more efficient food production while (2) host countries benefit from development opportunities. However, our assessment of the debate on the issues indicates critical (...) voices in both the media and academic discourse. This article aims to provide a philosophical law and economics analysis. We draw on John Rawls’s Theory of Justice, focusing on Rawls’s background institutions for distributive justice (§43) to evaluate LASLA form an ethical angle. Approaching LASLA into Sub Saharan LDCs as a socio-economic reform redistributing land from the local population of LDCs to investors, we acknowledge that they bear a highly desirable potential. Often, though, they cannot be regarded as ethically correct in practice as the insignificant improvements for local populations and sometimes even human rights violations contradict Rawls’s principles of justice. Then investigating whether and how international law can help overcome the shortcomings, we conclude that even though respective mechanisms exist in the current state of international law, it is hardly possible that it will produce more just outcomes in the near future. (shrink)
This chapter links a conception of global justice, moral cosmopolitanism, with plurinational democracies. After giving a brief description of moral cosmopolitanism (section 1), I go on to analyse notions of cosmopolitanism and patriotism in Kant's work (section 2) and the political significance that the notion of unsocial sociability and the Ideas of Pure Reason of Kant's first Critique have for cosmopolitanism (section 3). Finally, I analyse the relationship between cosmopolitanism and minority nations based on the preceding sections. I postulate the (...) need for a moral and institutional refinement of democracies and international society that is better able to accommodate national pluralism than has so far been achieved by traditional liberal constitutionalism and cosmopolitanism (section 4). (shrink)
The study proposed to investigate the effect of the Islamic work ethic on the perception of justice among employees in Islamic microfinance institutions in Indonesia. The construct of organisational justice included three dimensions, namely distributive, procedural, and interactional justice. The sample consisted of 370 employees from 60 Islamic microfinance institutions in Central Java, Indonesia. The results suggest that the Islamic work ethic positively contributes to the aforementioned three dimensions of the perception of justice. Implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research (...) are discussed. (shrink)
What is justice? Questions of justice are questions about what people are due, but what that means in practice depends on context. Depending on context, the formal question of what people are due is answered by principles of desert, reciprocity, equality, or need. Justice, thus, is a constellation of elements that exhibit a degree of integration and unity, but the integrity of justice is limited, in a way that is akin to the integrity of a neighborhood rather than that of (...) a building. A theory of justice is a map of that neighborhood. (shrink)
In several papers, I have argued for a theory of distributive justice and considered its implications. This theory includes a principle of responsibility that was endorsed by others within an account of defensive force (self-defense and defense of others). Whitley Kaufman criticizes this account which he refers to as the "distributive justice theory of self-defense" (DJ theory). In this paper, I respond to this criticism. I argue that Kaufman presents the theory inaccurately, that his standard of evaluation of the theory (...) is inadequate and that his claim that the theory should be rejected is unconvincing. (shrink)
In his recent review essay, Stan van Hooft raises some interesting potential challenges for cosmopolitan global justice projects, of which my version is one example. I am grateful to van Hooft for doing so. I hope by responding to these challenges here, others concerned with developing frameworks for analyzing issues of global justice will also learn something of value. I start by giving a very brief synopsis of key themes of my book, 'Global Justice', so I can address van Hooft's (...) concerns about the structure of the book. I then outline the normative thought experiment that yields the global justice framework I endorse, in order to address five main concerns van Hooft has with it. These center around problems he foresees about what it would be reasonable to agree to in the face of quite different worldviews. There are five specific concerns he identifies related to reasonableness and I address these in the third and fourth sections of this paper. -/- . (shrink)
What is justice? -- The idea of justice in the Holy Scriptures -- Platonic justice -- Aristotle's doctrine of justice -- The natural-law doctrine before the tribunal of science -- A "dynamic" theory of natural law -- Absolutism and relativism in philosophy and politics -- Value judgments in the science of law -- The law as a specific social technique -- Why should the law be obeyed? -- The pure theory of the law and analytical jurisprudence -- Law, state, and (...) justice in the pure theory of law -- Causality and retribution -- Causality and imputation -- Science and politics. (shrink)
What should our theorizing about social justice aim at? Many political philosophers think that a crucial goal is to identify a perfectly just society. Amartya Sen disagrees. In The Idea of Justice, he argues that the proper goal of an inquiry about justice is to undertake comparative assessments of feasible social scenarios in order to identify reforms that involve justice-enhancement, or injustice-reduction, even if the results fall short of perfect justice. Sen calls this the “comparative approach” to the theory of (...) justice. He urges its adoption on the basis of a sustained critique of the former approach, which he calls “transcendental.” In this paper I pursue two tasks, one critical and the other constructive. First, I argue that Sen’s account of the contrast between the transcendental and the comparative approaches is not convincing, and second, I suggest what I take to be a broader and more plausible account of comparative assessments of justice. The core claim is that political philosophers should not shy away from the pursuit of ambitious theories of justice (including, for example, ideal theories of perfect justice), although they should engage in careful consideration of issues of political feasibility bearing on their practical implementation. (shrink)
In his important new book National responsibility and global justice, David Miller presents a systematic challenge to existing theories of global justice. In particular, he argues that cosmopolitan egalitarianism must be rejected. Such views, Miller maintains, would place unacceptable burdens on the most productive political communities, undermine national self-determination, and disincentivize political communities from taking responsibility for their fate. They are also impracticable and quite unrealistic, at least under present conditions. Miller offers an alternative account that conceives global justice in (...) terms of a minimum set of basic rights that belong to human beings everywhere. Primary responsibility for securing such rights for an individual lies with his or her state, but in so far as these rights go unprotected, responsibilities for fulfilling them may fall on outsiders. While less ambitious that cosmopolitan egalitarian justice, Miller argues that his own view would nevertheless enable us to articulate what is most morally objectionable about our current world. In this article it is argued that none of Miller's critiques of cosmopolitan egalitarianism is effective, and that while certainly preferable to the status quo, a world governed by Miller's principles is not an attractive ideal. (shrink)
Compelling research in international relations and international political economy on global warming suggests that one part of any meaningful effort to radically reverse current trends of increasing green house gas (GHG) emissions is shared policies among states that generate costs for such emissions in many if not most of the world’s regions. Effectively employing such policies involves gaining much more extensive global commitments and developing much stronger compliance mechanism than those currently found in the Kyoto Protocol. In other words, global (...) warming raises the prospect that we need a global form of political authority that could coordinate the actions of states in order to address this environmental threat. This in turn suggests that any serious effort to mitigate climate change will entail new limits on the sovereignty of states. In this book I focus on the normative question of whether or not we have clear moral reasons to bind ourselves together in such a supranational form of political association. I argue that one can employ familiar liberal arguments for the moral legitimacy of political order at the state level to show that we do have a duty to support such a global political project. Even if one adopts the premises employed by the most influential forms of liberal scepticism to the ideas of global political and distributive justice, such as those advanced by John Rawls and Thomas Nagel, it is clear that the threat of global warming has expanded the scope of justice. We now have a global and demanding duty of justice to create the political conditions that would allow us to collectively address our impact on the Earth’s atmosphere. (shrink)
This book aims to answer the question of why, and by what right, some people punish others. With a groundbreaking new theory, Matravers argues that the justification of punishment must be embedded in a larger political and moral theory. He also uses the problem of punishment to undermine contemporary accounts of justice.
In this paper I focus on the discussion between Rawls and Habermas on procedural justice. I use Rawls's distinction between pure, perfect, and imperfect procedural justice to distinguish three possible readings of discourse ethics. Then I argue, against Habermas's own recent claims, that only an interpretation of discourse ethics as imperfect procedural justice can make compatible its professed cognitivism with its proceduralism. Thus discourse ethics cannot be understood as a purely procedural account of the notion of justice. (...) Finally I draw the different consequences that follow from this reading. Key Words: discourse ethics Jürgen Habermas imperfect procedural justice moral anti-realism moral cognitivism moral realism perfect procedural justice pure procedural justice John Rawls. (shrink)
Towards Justice and Virtue challenges the rivalry between those who advocate only abstract, universal principles of justice and those who commend only the particularities of virtuous lives. Onora O'Neill traces this impasse to defects in underlying conceptions of reasoning about action. She proposes and vindicates a modest account of ethical reasoning and a reasoned way of answering the question 'who counts?', then uses these to construct linked accounts of principles by which we can move towards just institutions and virtuous lives.
A response to G.A. Cohen's argument that a prevailing "ethos" of justice would prevent a Rawlsian just society from having any income inequalities. I suggest that Cohen's argument fails because a Rawlsian ethos would involve correlates of both of Rawls' principles of justice.
My project here is to argue for situating moral judgments about Indian surrogacy in the context of Reproductive Justice. I begin by crafting the best picture of Indian surrogacy available to me while marking some worries I have about discursive colonialism and epistemic honesty. Western feminists' responses to contract pregnancy fall loosely into two interrelated moments: post-Baby M discussions that focus on the morality of surrogacy work in Western contexts, and feminist biomedical ethnographies that focus on the lived dimensions of (...) reproductive technologies and how they are embodied and negotiated in specific cultural contexts. Both approaches have their shortcomings. Uncritically extending Western moral frameworks (for example, liberal feminist political values) to Indian surrogacy work raises the specter of discursive colonialism; with it, worries arise about how Western normative traditions can distort, erase, or misread non-Western subjects' lived experiences. Feminist biomedical ethnographic approaches correct this, but raise the specter of a weak moral absenteeism; with it, concerns arise about under-theorizing the structural harms and injustices shaping surrogacy worker's lives. I suggest that we might reduce these shortcomings by framing normative and ethnographic engagement with global surrogacy as questions of reproductive justice. (shrink)
This paper presents and defends Kant’s non-voluntarist conception of political obligations. I argue that civil society is not primarily a prudential requirement for justice; it is not merely a necessary evil or moral response to combat our corrupting nature or our tendency to act viciously, thoughtlessly or in a biased manner. Rather, civil society is constitutive of rightful relations because only in civil society can we interact in ways reconcilable with each person’s innate right to freedom. Civil society is the (...) means through which we can rightfully interact even on the ideal assumption that no one ever succumbs to immoral temptation. (shrink)
Book Abstract: With the publication of A Theory of Justice in 1971, John Rawls not only rejuvenated contemporary political philosophy but also defended a Kantian form of Enlightenment liberalism called “justice as fairness.” Enlightenment liberalism stresses the development and exercise of our capacity for autonomy, while Reformation liberalism emphasizes diversity and the toleration that encourages it. These two strands of liberalism are often mutually supporting, but they conflict in a surprising number of cases, whether over the accommodation of group difference, (...) the design of civic education, or the promotion of liberal values internationally. During the 1980’s, however, Rawls began to jettison key Kantian characteristics of his theory, a process culminating in the 1993 release of Political Liberalism and completing the transformation of justice as fairness into a Reformation liberalism. -/- Reconstructing Rawls argues that this transformation was a tragic mistake because it jeopardized the most important features of his theory, viz. the lexical priorities of right, liberty, and fair equality of opportunity as well as the difference principle. Controversially, this book contends that Rawls’s so-called “political turn,” motivated by a newfound interest in diversity and the accommodation of difference, has been unhealthy for autonomy-based liberalism and has pushed liberalism more broadly towards cultural relativism, be it in the guise of liberal multiculturalism or critiques of cosmopolitan distributive-justice theories. The book then demonstrates that the central elements of justice as fairness can only be defended within the context of a Kantian Enlightenment liberalism and that Rawls’s hope for a more pluralistic grounding for his theory, endorsed by a wide variety of belief systems present in modern democratic societies, is illusory. -/- Reconstructing Rawls is the first book to systematically compare Rawls’s and Kant’s theories and the first to offer an internal critique and reconstruction of justice as fairness, reconceiving it as a comprehensive, universalistic Kantian liberalism. By doing so, it gives us both the vision of a liberal world order—“a republicanism of all states, together and separately,” as Kant put it—and a mode of justification addressed to all men and women, not as members of particular nations, races, and faiths, but as human beings, as citizens of the world. In short, it reclaims Rawls for the Enlightenment. (shrink)
Within the literature in green political theory on global environmental threats one can often find dissatisfaction with liberal theories of justice. This is true even though liberal cosmopolitans regularly point to global environmental problems as one reason for expanding the scope of justice beyond the territorial limits of the state. One of the causes for scepticism towards liberal approaches is that many of the most notable anti-cosmopolitan theories are also advanced by liberals. In this paper, I first explain why one (...) of the strongest expressions of liberal anti-cosmopolitanism cannot simply be dismissed because it may fail to support desired environmental ends. The political conception of justice represents one of the most important challenges to cosmopolitanism generally and is thus a serious challenge to viewing global environmental problems in terms of cosmopolitan justice. Second, I will show through the case of anthropogenic global warming that the political conception of justice under current conditions does have clear cosmopolitan implications despite its proponents' claims. (shrink)
In Book III, Part 2 of the Treatise, Hume presents a natural history of justice. Self-interest clearly plays a central role in his account; our ancestors invented justice conventions, he maintains, for the sake of reciprocal advantage. But this is not what makes his approach so novel and attractive. Hume recognizes that prudential considerations are not sufficient to explain how human beings – with our propensities towards temporal discounting and free-riding – could have established conventions for social exchange and collective (...) action in commercial societies. This leads him to develop an innovative account of the role that emotional aversions play in establishing trust between strategically rational agents. (shrink)
Introduction: the foundation of justice -- Practical reason and justifying reasons: on the foundation of morality -- Moral autonomy and the autonomy of morality: toward a theory of normativity after Kant -- Ethics and morality -- The justification of justice: Rawls's political liberalism and Habermas's discourse theory in dialogue -- Political liberty: integrating five conceptions of autonomy -- A critical theory of multicultural toleration -- The rule of reasons: three models of deliberative democracy -- Social justice, justification, and power -- (...) The basic right to justification: toward a constructivist conception of human rights -- Constructions of transnational justice: comparing John Rawls's the law of peoples and Otfried Höffe's democracy in an age of globalisation -- Justice, morality, and power in the global context -- Toward a critical theory of transnational justice. (shrink)
What is justice all about? What is the scope of the concept of justice? What issues can legitimately be evaluated in terms of justice? In her book Justice and the Politics of Difference, Iris Marion Young challenges the concept of justice as defined by John Rawls and used by many others in the philosophical debates that responded to Rawls’s, A Theory of Justice (1971). Is Young’s critique on the prevailing use of the concept of justice and contemporary theories of justice (...) correct? Is her alternative understanding of the concept viable? In this paper I want to critically examine her views on the concept of justice and compare them with a close reading of John Rawls’s use of the concept of justice. The comparison of Young and Rawls will lead me to reconcile their views in terms of the central features of the concept of justice. (shrink)
Many political philosophers hold the Feasible Alternatives Principle (FAP): justice demands that we implement some reform of international institutions P only if P is feasible and P improves upon the status quo from the standpoint of justice. The FAP implies that any argument for a moral requirement to implement P must incorporate claims whose content pertains to the causal processes that explain the current state of affairs. Yet, philosophers routinely neglect the need to attend to actual causal processes. This undermines (...) their arguments concerning moral requirements to reform international institutions. The upshot is that philosophers’ arguments must engage in causal analysis to a greater extent than is typical. -/- [Supplement: Handout available at http://db.tt/fyuVW3Xv]. (shrink)
In this fascinating exploration of justice, eminent philosopher D. D. Raphael presents the culmination of a lifetime's study of its evolution, from ancient times to the late twentieth century. His aim is not just historical but philosophical: to illuminate our true understanding of justice. His unique approach examines not only classic texts by such philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Mill, and Rawls but also the Bible and Greek tragedy, as well as some neglected but important thought from the modern era. (...) Lucid and stimulating, this work can be enjoyed by anyone interested in moral and political thought, even by those with little to no knowledge of political theory or philosophy. (shrink)
Some authors have called for increased research on various forms of geoengineering as a means to address global climate change. This paper focuses on the question of whether a particular form of geoengineering, namely deploying sulfate aerosols in the stratosphere to counteract some of the effects of increased greenhouse gas concentrations, would be a just response to climate change. In particular, we examine problems sulfate aerosol geoengineering (SAG) faces in meeting the requirements of distributive, intergenerational, and procedural justice. We argue (...) that SAG faces obstacles to meeting the requirements of all three considered kinds of justice, because its impacts can harm some persons and communities much more than others; it poses serious risks to future generations; and SAG is especially prone to unilateral implementation. While we do not claim that SAG ought not to be implemented, we argue that it is the responsibility of proponents of SAG to recognize and address these ethical obstacles before advocating its implementation. (shrink)
This book makes a significant contribution to the contemporary debate about multiculturalism and democratic theory. It reflects upon the ways in which claims about culture and identity are advanced by immigrants, national minorities, aboriginals, and other groups. It argues that liberal democrats should provide recognition and support for minority cultures and identities, and examines case studies from a number of different societies to show how theorists can learn about justice.
The ideal of distributive justice as a means of ensuring fair distribution of social opportunities is a cornerstone of contemporary feminist theory. Feminists from various disciplines have developed arguments to support the redistribution of the work of care through institutional mechanisms. I discuss the limits of such distribution under the conditions of theories that do not idealize human agents as independent beings. People’s reliance on care, understood as a response to needs, is pervasive and infuses almost all human interaction. I (...) argue that the effect of care on shaping the social opportunities of all individuals is huge, although often invisible. Much of the optimism of theories of distributive justice comes from ignoring or downplaying the way in which care influences most factors of social success. Jonathan Wolff distinguished between three types of resources whose fair distribution is important: internal, external and structural. Care, I argue, does not fit well in any of these types. Inseparably interwoven with relational realities, care cuts across these categories and thus poses a challenge to the feasibility of equal chances. I focus on the under-analyzed issue of bad care and show how difficult it is to dismantle legacies of bad care. Their effect on even close-to-ideal social arrangements is too significant to be disregarded, yet very difficult to tackle through institutional mechanisms. A commitment to certain elements of individual ethics – as opposed to merely political institutions – is required in order to bridge the gap between ideal theories of justice and feasible practical aims. (shrink)
I argue that promoting justice within marriage requires a cultural reconceptualiza¬tion of marriage itself as not merely a relationship of love, but as also a commitment to justice. I argue that it is insufficient to combat injustice in marriage with progressive laws and policies, even when combined with smart planning and bargaining on the part of women. Also necessary is a change in the way marriage itself is viewed. In addition to being regarded as an emotional commitment, it should also (...) be seen as a commitment to interpersonal justice. I discuss what this reconceptualization would mean in practice and address several possible objections. (shrink)