Is social justice just?

Oakland, California: Independent Institute (2019)
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Abstract

What is social justice? At this point, there is considerable disagreement. For many, the term social justice is baffling and useless, with no real meaning. Most who use it argue that social justice is the moral fairness of the system of rules and norms that govern society. Do these rules work so that all persons get what is due to them as human beings and as members of the community? Shifting from the will of individuals in rendering justice to the outcome of the system of rules in achieving justice can be a dangerous leap. To some, it suggests that virtually every inequality arises because the rules of the game are unfair and that the state must intervene whenever there are unequal outcomes. The dangers of this leap are the primary focus of Is Social Justice Just?, whose twenty-one authors accepted an invitation to "explore, reassess, and critique the concept of social justice-relating it to ongoing debates in economics, history, philosophy, politics, public policy, religion, and the broader culture."

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Michael Munger
Duke University

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