Rawls, Young, and the Scope of Justice

Theoria 46 (94):90-107 (1999)
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Abstract

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.

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Hennie Lötter
University of Johannesburg

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