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Proceeding on a limited number of general, widely accepted equity criteria, we develop a proposal for distributing common resources. In particular, the proposed fair division mechanism is individually rational, envy-free, Pareto-efficient and satisfies the stand alone test, which follows as a minimum requirement from the resource and population monotonicity criteria. Applied to international climate policy, the thrust of this proposal is that the South should initially be fully compensated for the greenhouse gas abatement measures it is to undertake as a (...) result of efficiency considerations. (shrink)
Household debt has been widely discussed among social scientists, policy makers, and activists. Many have questioned the levels of debt households are required to take on, and have made various proposals for assisting households in debt. Yet theorists of distributivejustice have left household debt underexamined. This article offers a normative examination of the distributivejustice issues presented by proposals to relieve household debt or protect households from overindebtedness. I examine two goals at which debt relief (...) proposals aim: remedying disadvantage and stabilizing expectations. I then examine strategies for relieving existing debts such as debt abolition, forgiveness, bankruptcy, and mitigation, as well as strategies that aim to prevent future indebtedness, such as public provision or financing of costly goods and credit or interest rate regulations. (shrink)
Through modern driver assistant systems, algorithmic decisions already have a significant impact on the behavior of vehicles in everyday traffic. This will become even more prominent in the near future considering the development of autonomous driving functionality. The need to consider ethical principles in the design of such systems is generally acknowledged. However, scope, principles and strategies for their implementations are not yet clear. Most of the current discussions concentrate on situations of unavoidable crashes in which the life of human (...) beings is existentially affected. In this paper, we argue that ethical considerations should be mandatory for any algorithmic decision of autonomous vehicles, instead of a limitation to hazard situations. Such an ethically aligned behavior is relevant because autonomous vehicles, like any other traffic participants, operate in a shared public space, where every behavioral decision impacts the operational possibilities of others. These possibilities concern the fulfillment of a road-user’s safety, utility and comfort needs. We propose that, to operate ethically in such space, an autonomous vehicle will have to take its behavior decisions according to a just distribution of operational possibilities among all traffic participants. Using an application on a partially-autonomous prototype vehicle, we describe how to apply and implement concepts of distributivejustice to the driving environment and demonstrate the impact on its behavior in comparison to an advanced but egoistic decision maker. (shrink)
Liberalism and DistributiveJustice discusses liberalism, capitalism, distributivejustice, and John Rawls's difference principle. Chapters are organized in a narrative arc: from liberalism as the dominant political and economic system, to the laws governing interpersonal transactions in liberal society, to basic economic and political institutions that determine distributivejustice.
Distributivejustice, defined as justice in distribution of income and wealth, is impossible. Income and wealth are distributed either unequally or equally. If unequally, then those with less are unjustly subject to social contempt. But equal distribution is impossible because it is inconsistent with bargaining to advance our own good. Hence justice in distribution of income and wealth is impossible. More generally, societies where social relations are mediated by money are necessarily unjust, and Marx was wrong (...) to think a socialist society which retained money would lead to communism. Contributive justice proposes that each flourishes by advancing the flourishing of others. To achieve this goal all labor, both simple and complex, must be shared among all capable of doing it. The good of contributing our abilities to benefit others is then available to all non-competitively. (shrink)
Various arguments have been provided for drawing non-humans such as animals and artificial agents into the sphere of moral consideration. In this paper, I argue for a shift from an ontological to a social-philosophical approach: instead of asking what an entity is, we should try to conceptually grasp the quasi-social dimension of relations between non-humans and humans. This allows me to reconsider the problem of justice, in particular distributivejustice . Engaging with the work of Rawls, I (...) show that an expansion of the contractarian framework to non-humans causes an important problem for liberalism, but can be justified by a contractarian argument. Responding to Bell’s and Nussbaum’s comments on Rawls, I argue that we can justify drawing non-humans into the sphere of distributivejustice by relying on the notion of a co-operative scheme. I discuss what co-operation between humans and non-humans can mean and the extent to which it depends on properties. I conclude that we need to imagine principles of ecological and technological distributivejustice. (shrink)
Global distributivejustice is now part of mainstream political debate. It incorporates issues that are now a familiar feature of the political landscape, such as global poverty, trade justice, aid to the developing world and debt cancellation. This is the first textbook to focus exclusively on issues of distributivejustice on the global scale. It gives clear and up-to-date accounts of the major theories of global justice and spells out their significance for a series (...) of important political issues, including climate change, international trade, human rights and migration. These issues are brought to life through the use of case studies, which emphasise the connection of theories of justice to contemporary politics, and 'Further Issues' sections, which discuss emerging debates or controversies that are likely to command increasing attention in the coming years. (shrink)
In John Rawls’s theory, the role of the principles of justice is to regulate the basic structure of society—its major social, political and economic institutions—and to specify the fair terms of cooperation for free and equal persons. Some have interpreted Rawls as excluding contract law, and perhaps the private law as a whole, from the basic structure. However, this interpretation of Rawls is untenable, given the motivations for his emphasis on the basic structure and the highly inclusive characterisations he (...) gives of it. Yet if he includes private law within the basic structure, he seems committed to holding that its design and operations should be regulated by his two principles of justice, which govern the distribution of basic liberties, economic resources and opportunities. This would leave it unclear whether there was any room for values other than distributive values to inform the design of private law. Leaving no role for other values might be unproblematic if distributivejustice were a master normative category with equal regulative authority over all basic social institutions. But we should not assume that this ‘distributivist paradigm’ gives the best interpretation either of private law or of the fair terms of cooperation for a society of free and equal people. We need to think further about how non-distributive values may inform the principles of justice that regulate the institutional structure of society. And we need to ask how much of law, whether public or private, is regulated solely by principles of justice that focus on the distribution of basic liberties, economic resources and opportunities. (shrink)
Dismissal is a major issue for distributivejustice at work, because it normally has a drastic impact on an employee’s livelihood, self-esteem and future career. This article examines distributivejustice under the US’s employment-at-will (EAW) system and New Zealand’s just-cause dismissal system, focusing on the three main categories of dismissal, namely misconduct, poor performance and redundancy. Under EAW, employees have limited protection from dismissal and remedies are restricted to just a few so-called exceptions. Comparatively, New Zealand’s (...) just-cause system delivers much more just outcomes, both in terms of remedies and punishments. Despite a few shortcomings, it should be considered as a reasonable reference for policy changes in the US. (shrink)
Amartya Sen is a renowned economist who has also made important contributions to philosophical thinking about distributivejustice. These contributions tend to take the form of criticism of inadequate positions and insistence on making distinctions that will promote clear thinking about the topic. Sen is not shy about making substantive normative claims, but thus far he has avoided commitment to a theory of justice, in the sense of a set of principles that specifies what facts are relevant (...) for policy choice and determines, given a full characterization of any situation in terms of these relevant facts, what ought to be done in that situation. Moreover, Sen has expressed skepticism about the existence of a fully adequate theory in this sense. According to Sen there is a plurality of moral considerations that bear on choice of action and policy and no particular reason to think that weights can be attached nonarbitrarily to each consideration to yield a theory.1 “Sen’s proposal is that distributivejustice entails equalizing midfare levels across persons,” writes John Roemer.2 “Other things being equal,” one has to add by way of correction to Roemer’s formulation. Sen holds that we should be concerned with the extent of people’s capability or freedom to attain midfare as well as the midfare level actually reached. Sen holds that distributive values.. (shrink)
One of the arguments against conducting human subject trials inthe Third World adopts a distributivejustice principle found ina commentary of the CIOM'S Eighth Guideline for internationalresearch on human subjects. Critics argue that non-participantmembers of the community in which the trials are conducted areexploited because sponsoring agencies do not ensure that theproducts developed have been made reasonably available to theseindividuals.I argue that the distributive principle's wording is too vagueand ambiguous to be used to criticize any trial. Furthermore,the (...) mere fact that an experiment does not fulfill this particulardistributive justice principle does not entail that it isunethical. (shrink)
Can we achieve greater fairness by reforming the corporation? Some recent progressive critics of the corporation arguethat we can achieve greater social justice both inside and outside the corporation by simply rewriting or reinterpreting corporate rulesto favor non-stockholders over stockholders. But the progressive program for reforming the corporation rests on a critical assumption,which I challenge in this essay, namely that the rules of the corporation matter, so that changing them can effect a lasting redistribution of wealth from stockholders to (...) non-stockholders. This essay uses a critique of the progressive reform program to argue that the rules ofthe corporation are distributively neutral. The corporation isn't rigged against non-stockholders, and changing its rules will not improve the bargaining power of non-stockholders. However, while the rules may be epiphenomenal from the standpoint of distributivejustice, they can have substantial impacts on the corporation's efficiency. As a result, the proposed reforms may hurt the corporation's capacity to generate benefits for all the parties concerned. (shrink)
The present article explores ‘anti-cosmopolitan’ arguments that shared institutions above the state, such as there are, are not of a kind that support or give rise to distributive claims beyond securing minimum needs. The upshot is to rebut certain of these ‘anti-cosmopolitan’ arguments. Section 1 asks under which conditions institutions are subject to distributivejustice norms. That is, which sound reasons support claims to a relative share of the benefits of institutions that exist and apply to individuals? (...) Such norms may require strict equality, Rawls’ Difference Principle, or other constraints on inequality. Section 2 considers, and rejects, several arguments why existing international institutions are not thought to meet these conditions. (shrink)
It is generally recognised that the potential positive and negative impacts of geoengineering will be distributed unevenly both geographically and temporally. The question of distributivejustice in geoengineering thus is one of the major ethical issues associated with geoengineering. Currently, the question of distributivejustice in geoengineering is framed in terms of who gets what (potential) benefits and harms from geoengineering, i.e. it is about the distribution of the outcomes of geoengineering. In this paper, I argue (...) that the discussions on distributivejustice in geoengineering should not be outcome-based. Instead, it should be risk-based. I identify two problems for framing the question of distributivejustice in geoengineering in terms of the distribution of its outcomes, i.e. the ‘if and then’ syndrome and the limited applicability of distributive principles in geoengineering policy, and suggest risk is a more proper object of distribution in the case of geoengineering. Following Hayenhjelm, I argue that the object of distribution in the case of fair distribution of risk should be (i) sources of risks and (ii) precautionary measures. I shall then demonstrate how it can be applied to the question of distributivejustice in geoengineering. Finally, I end this paper by exploring the possible responses to the question of distributivejustice in geoengineering by three major accounts of distributivejustice, i.e. egalitarianism, prioritarianism, and sufficientarianism. (shrink)
Usually a relational approach, such as one appealing to care or love, is contrasted with an account of justice. In this chapter, however, I argue that distributivejustice is well conceived as itself a matter of honouring people in virtue of their capacity to love and to be loved. After spelling out a familiar conception of love, I explain how treating people with respect in light of this capacity provides a plausible basis for human rights, one that (...) rivals influential individualist foundations such as Kantian respect for autonomy and Catholic honor of human life. I also articulate an egalitarian conception of how to allocate wealth that I argue is also a function of treating people's ability to love as special and that can compete against views salient in Anglo-American political philosophy such as cost-benefit analysis and John Rawls’ difference principle. (shrink)
Distributivejustice has come to the fore in political philosophy: how should we arrange our social and economic institutions so as to distribute benefits and burdens fairly? Thirty-two leading figures from philosophy and political theory present specially written critical assessments of the key issues in this flourishing area of research.
In his recent Rescuing Justice and Equality, G. A. Cohen mounts a sustained critique of coerced labour, against the background of a radical egalitarian conception of distributivejustice. In this article, I argue that Cohenian egalitarians are committed to holding the talented under a moral duty to choose socially useful work for the sake of the less fortunate. As I also show, Cohen's arguments against coerced labour fail, particularly in the light of his commitment to coercive taxation. (...) In the course of defending those claims, I claim that Cohen's remarks on freedom of occupational choice and taxation exhibit partiality towards the interests of the better-off to the detriment of the less fortunate – a partiality which is in tension with his commitment to equality. (shrink)
This paper provides a critical examination of the strongest defenses of the pure lifetime view, according to which justice requires taking only people's whole lives as relevant when assessing and establishing their distributive entitlements and obligations. The paper proposes that we reject a pure lifetime view and replace it with an alternative view, on which some time-specific considerations--that is to say, considerations about how people fare at specific points in time--have nonderivative weight in determining what our obligations are (...) to them. (shrink)
The word “justice” is used in several different ways. First, justice is sometimes understood as moral permissibility applied to distributions of benefits and burdens (e.g., income distributions) or social structures (e.g., legal systems). In this sense, justice is distinguished by the kind of entity to which it is applied, rather than a specific kind of moral concern.
On this occasion I wish to elaborate further the conception of distributivejustice that I have already sketched elsewhere. This conception derives from the ideal of social justice implicit in the two principles proposed in the essay “Justice as Fairness.” These discussions need to be supplemented in at least two ways. For one thing, the two parts of the second principle are ambiguous: in each part a crucial phrase admits of two interpretations. The two principles read (...) as follows: first, each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others; and second, social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both (a) reasonably expected to be to everyone's advantage, and (b) attached to positions and offices equally open to all. The two ambiguous phrases in the second principle are “everyone's advantage” in part (a) and “equally open to all” in part (b). I shall consider these ambiguities and the several interpretations of the two principles to which they give rise. I shall leave aside any difficulties with the first principle and assume that its sense is the same throughout and clear enough for our purposes. (shrink)
This article challenges an argument from Tom Donaldson''s recent bookThe Ethics of International Business with a claim that distributivejustice, deemed in many circles to impose a duty of mutual aid on individuals and nations, establishes a basis for holding multinational corporations to such a duty as well. The root idea I advocate is that Rawls'' theory of justice can be deployed — beyond its original intent yet in line with its spirit — to underwrite aprima facie (...) obligation of international business to render aid to ameliorate suffering on behalf of the inhabitants of developing countries in which they operate. (shrink)
The state subvention and distribution of health care not only jeopardize the financial sustainability of the state, but also restrict without a conclusive rational basis the freedom of patients to decide how much health care and of what quality is worth what price. The dominant biopolitics of European health care supports a healthcare monopoly in the hands of the state and the medical profession, which health care should be opened to the patient’s authority to deal directly for better basic health (...) care. In a world where it is impossible for all to receive equal access to the best of basic health care, one must critically examine the plausible scope of the authority of the state to limit access to better basic health care. Classical distributivejustice affords a basis for re-examining the current European ideology of equality, human dignity, and solidarity that supports healthcare systems with unsustainable egalitarian concerns. (shrink)
The philosophical debate on secession has hitherto revolved primarily around the question of self-determination rather than that of distributivejustice. Normative theorists of secession have approached the question of secession mostly in terms of the right that the secessionist group has to secede. Much less attention has been paid to the extent and the nature of obligations or duties that the seceding group might have toward the group it is leaving behind. At best, secession theorists have introduced clauses (...) to the effect that secession should not undermine the remainder state’s viability nor violate prior arrangements of reciprocal cooperation. While these clauses certainly reflect a certain concern for distributivejustice, I argue that they are insufficient in two respects: they are problematically minimal in what they require, and the justification given for these clauses accounts only for part of the normative picture. In this paper, I address these two shortcomings by arguing that the seceding group might have significant duties of distributivejustice toward the remainder group, and that these duties are associative in nature and stem from a concern to secure non-domination within the pre-secession polity. What is gained from my non-domination account, then, is that it is analytically more comprehensive and normatively more accurate. In arguing for claims and, the paper contributes both to the debate on secession as well as to the conceptualization of associative duties and of non-domination. (shrink)
This article presents a relatively straightforward theoretical framework about distributivejustice with applications. It draws on a few key concepts of Sociological Game Theory. SGT is presented briefly in section 2. Section 3 provides a spectrum of distributive cases concerning principles of equality, differentiation among recipients according to performance or contribution, status or authority, or need. Two general types of social organization of distributive judgment are distinguished and judgment procedures or algorithms are modeled in each type (...) of social organization. Section 4 discusses briefly the larger moral landscapes of human judgment – how distribution may typically be combined with other value into consideration. The article suggests that Rawls, Elster, and Machado point in this direction. Finally, it is suggested that the SGT framework presented provides a useful point of departure to systematically link it and compare the Warsaw School of Fair Division, Rawls, and Elster, among others. (shrink)
Bargaining games typically involve two players distributing a specific payoff (usually money), and will be our focus here, as they are especially helpful for examining the moral psychology of justice. Examples include the ultimatum game and dictator game. We will also look at a novel twist on the dictator game by the psychologist Daniel Batson, which has fostered a large experimental literature on what he calls ‘moral hypocrisy.’ Finally we will connect this discussion of economic games to the virtue (...) of justice and to other personality traits such as agreeableness, honesty-humility, and justice sensitivity. (shrink)
Under what conditions are people responsible for their choices and the outcomes of those choices? How could such conditions be fostered by liberal societies? Should what people are due as a matter of justice depend on what they are responsible for? For example, how far should healthcare provision depend on patients' past choices? What values would be realized and which hampered by making justice sensitive to responsibility? Would it give people what they deserve? Would it advance or hinder (...) equality? The explosion of philosophical interest in such questions has been fuelled by increased focus on individual responsibility in political debates. Political philosophers, especially egalitarians, have responded to such developments by attempting to map out the proper place for responsibility in theories of justice. This book both reflects on these recent developments in normative political theory and moves the debate forwards. (shrink)
An old conservative criticism of egalitarianism is that it is nothing but the expression of envy. Egalitarians respond by saying envy has nothing to do with it. I present an alternative way of thinking about the relation of envy to distributivejustice, and to Rawlsian justice in particular. I argue that while ideals of justice rightly distance themselves from envy, envy plays a role in facing injustice. Under nonideal circumstances, less attractive features of human nature may (...) play a role in motivating the action necessary to push an unjust society in a more just direction. (shrink)
The individualist nature of much contemporary just war theory means that we often discuss cases with single attackers. But even if war is best understood in this individualist way, in war combatants often have to make decisions about how to distribute harms among a plurality of aggressors: they must decide whom and how many to harm, and how much to harm them. In this paper, I look at simultaneous multiple aggressor cases in which more than one distribution of harm among (...) aggressors is available. I show how such cases pose deep questions concerning the nature, role, and scope of the necessity principle, and its relationship to both liability and narrow proportionality. I argue that a hitherto unrecognised measure – ‘narrow proportionality shortfall’ – and its distribution is relevant in choosing how to distribute harms across aggressors. I then extend this analysis to show how this may help us with a puzzle concerning sequential attacks. (shrink)
Mark Pennington argues political systems should be decentralized in order to facilitate experimental learning about distributivejustice. Pointing out the problems with Pennington's Hayekian formulation, I reframe his argument as an extension of the Millian idea of 'experiments in living.' However, the experimental case for decentralization is limited in several ways. Even if decentralization improves our knowledge about justice, it impedes the actual implementation of all conceptions of justice other than libertarianism. I conclude by arguing for (...) the compatibility of egalitarian redistribution with the epistemic virtues of markets pointed out by Hayek. (shrink)
DistributiveJustice Theories of distributivejustice seek to specify what is meant by a just distribution of goods among members of society. All liberal theories (in the sense specified below) may be seen as expressions of laissez-faire with compensations for factors that they consider to be morally arbitrary. More specifically, such theories may be interpreted […].
The exposure of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to risks in the context of epidemics is significant. While traditional medical ethics offers the thought that these dangers may limit the extent to which a duty to care is applicable in such situations, it has less to say about what we might owe to medical professionals who are disadvantaged in these contexts. Luck egalitarianism, a responsibility-sensitive theory of distributivejustice, appears to fare particularly badly in that regard. If (...) we want to maintain that medical professionals are responsible for their decisions to help, cure and care for the vulnerable, luck egalitarianism seems to imply that their claim of justice to medical attention in case of infection is weak or non-existent. The article demonstrates how a recent interpretation of luck egalitarianism offers a solution to this problem. Redefining luck egalitarianism as concerned with responsibility for creating disadvantages, rather than for incurring disadvantage as such, makes it possible to maintain that medical professionals are responsible for their choices and that those infected because of their choice to help fight epidemics have a full claim of justice to medical attention. (shrink)
Progressives have advocated reforms of rules governing corporations to achieve greater distributivejustice, but Maitland (2001) hasargued that corporate rules are distributively neutral and that changing the rules will have no long run impact on distributivejustice. These different conclusions stem from the use of two different methods of economic analysis, partial equilibrium and general equilibrium models. A change in the rules governing corporations in a “large” sector of the economy is appropriately analyzed using a general (...) equilibrium analysis, supporting the conclusion that changes in the rules may affect distributivejustice in the long run. However, a partial equilibrium analysis of a change in the rules of corporations affecting a “small” part of the economy such as asingle firm or even all firms in a small state supports the claim that such changes cannot affect distributivejustice. (shrink)
This introductory chapter provides an overview of the recent debate about responsibility and distributivejustice. It traces the recent philosophical focus on distributivejustice to John Rawls and examines two arguments in his work which might be taken to contain the seeds of the focus on responsibility in later theories of distributivejustice. It examines Ronald Dworkin's ‘equality of resources’, the ‘luck egalitarianism’ of Richard Arneson and G. A. Cohen, as well as the criticisms (...) of their work put forward by Elizabeth Anderson, Marc Fleurbaey, Susan Hurley, and Jonathan Wolff. Key concepts such as responsibility (individual and collective), luck (thin and thick; brute and option), control, desert, and equality of opportunity are delineated, and the implementation of responsibility-sensitive accounts of justice is considered. The chapters of this book are positioned in relation to the wider literature on responsibility and distributivejustice, and a brief outline of the chapters is provided. (shrink)
The importance of education and its profound effect on people's life make it a central issue in discussions of distributivejustice. However, promoting distributivejustice in education comes at a price: prioritising the education of some, as is often entailed by the principles of justice, inevitably has negative effects on the education of others. As a result, all theories of distributivejustice in education face the challenge of balancing their requirements with conflicting interests. (...) This article aims to contribute to developing an account of conflicting interests by identifying a category of conflicting interests—non-positional conflicting interests—the realisation of which does not necessarily disrupt distributivejustice. Non-positional conflicting interests include, for example, the interest in realising one's full potential and parents’ interest in familial relations. The article argues that the core dimensions of non-positional conflicting interests can usually be realised without upsetting distributivejustice, and that actions that do upset distributivejustice tend to be peripheral to these interests. Either way, there is no severe friction between distributivejustice and non-positional conflicting interests: in the former cases, both are realised simultaneously. In the latter, tension exists; however, because the infringement on the conflicting interest is of relatively little weight, it is often justified, all things considered, in order to promote distributivejustice. The conclusion is that while there are indeed cases in which distributivejustice must retreat in the face of other interests, the friction between distributivejustice and other interests is actually weaker than meets the eye. (shrink)