Envy, facts and justice: A critique of the treatment of envy in justice as fairness

Res Publica 14 (2):101-116 (2008)
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Abstract

A common anti-egalitarian argument is that equality is motivated by envy, or the desire to placate envy. In order to avoid this charge, John Rawls explicitly banishes envy from his original position. This article argues that this is an inconsistent and untenable position for Rawls, as he treats envy as if it were a fact of human psychology and believes that principles of justice should be based on such facts. Therefore envy should be known about in the original position. The consequences for Rawlsian theory—both substantive and methodological—are discussed.

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Patrick Tomlin
University of Warwick

Citations of this work

Warding off the Evil Eye: Peer Envy in Rawls’s Just Society.James S. Pearson - 2024 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 106 (2):350-369.
Envy, self-esteem, and distributive justice.Vegard Stensen - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory.

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References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen - 2008 - Harvard University Press.

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