The demands of justice

Ethics 95 (2):224-232 (1985)
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The implication intended by the title is that there are elements ofjustice that are required and others that are desirable but not morally required. That is one of the views for which I have argued. The elements of justice that are morally required, and to which an individual has a right, are three. 1. Reciprocity.-A person, whether in or outside of a society, is justified in insisting, unless a voluntary agreement supersedes, that there be a balance between the value of what he gives and the value of what he gets. 2. Conditional equality.-If a society distributes a good or acts in such a way as to affect distribution, one is justified in insisting that he be presumed to be equal to everyone else. 3. Certain elements of welfare. -A person is justified in insisting that a social collective on which he is dependent support deficiencies in his welfare that are attributable to his being a victim of the economic life of the collective.



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Theodore M. Benditt
University of Pittsburgh (PhD)

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