Arbitrariness, Justice, and Respect

Social Theory and Practice 26 (1):25-45 (2000)
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I examine John Rawls' objection to libertarianism that it permits economic shares to be distributed in a morally arbitrary way. This argument was dropped largely for two reasons. First, talk of "arbitrariness" has been vague and associated with implausible views about moral desert, collective assets, and noumenal selves. Second, several criticisms which Robert Nozick made 25 years ago have gone unanswered. In this essay, I reconstruct the arbitrariness argument, giving it a new, Kantian interpretation, and I show that the new version is intuitively plausible and avoids Nozick's major objections.



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Thaddeus Metz
University of Pretoria

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Rawls’s Rejection of Preinstitutional Desert.Tea Logar - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (4):483-494.

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