Metaphilosophy 47 (1):92-107 (2016)

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Abstract
When we make public policy choices, is it helpful to know how utopia would look? Amartya Sen argues that it is neither necessary, nor sufficient, nor even contributory. He claims that before making a policy choice one should compare several feasible institutional designs to see which promotes justice most, and that it is misleading to use the perfect design as a standard in those comparisons. Principles of justice are the proper standard. The present article contends that the perfect design has nevertheless an important role to play in the prior task of identifying and refining our principles of justice. It also shows that the perfect design—in at least one sense of this term—may be a legitimate long-term goal for present policy choices
Keywords comparative assessments  utopia  justice  Amartya Sen
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DOI 10.1111/meta.12172
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References found in this work BETA

The Idea of Justice.Amartya Sen - 2009 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.John Rawls (ed.) - 2001 - Harvard University Press.
The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):246-253.

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