Forty years ago, in his landmark work A Theory of Justice, the American philosopher John Rawls depicted a just society as a fair system of cooperation between citizens, regarded as free and equal persons. Justice, Rawls famously claimed, is 'the first virtue of social institutions'. Ever since then, moral and political philosophers have expanded, expounded and criticized Rawls's main tenets, from perspectives as diverse as egalitarianism, left and right libertarianism and the ethics of care. This volume of essays provides a general overview of the main strands in contemporary justice theorising and features the most important and influential theories of justice from the 'post Rawlsian' era. These theories range from how to build a theory of justice and how to delineate its proper scope to the relationship between justice and equality, justice and liberty, and justice and desert. Also included is the critique of the Rawlsian paradigm, especially from feminist perspectives and from the growing strand of 'non-ideal' theory, as well as consideration of more recent developments and methodological issues.
Contents: Introduction; Part I Theorizing Justice: Two ways to think about justice, David Miller; What do we want from a theory of justice?, Amartya Sen; The structure of justification in political constructivism, Michael Buckley. Part II Justice as Equality: Equality and equality of opportunity for welfare, Richard J. Arneson; On the currency of egalitarian justice, G.A. Cohen; What is the point of equality? Elizabeth S. Anderson; Equality of whom? Social groups and judgments of injustice, Iris Marion Young. Part III The Scope of Justice: Where the action is: on the site of distributive justice, G.A. Cohen; Institutions and the demands of justice, Liam B. Murphy; On the site of distributive justice: reflections on Cohen and Murphy, Thomas W. Pogge. Part IV Left-Libertarianism: Liberty and equality, Hillel Steiner; Left-libertarianism, a review essay, Barbara H. Fried; Why left-libertarianism is not incoherent, indeterminate or irrelevant: a reply to Fried, Peter Vallentyne, Hillel Steiner and Michael Otsuka. Part V Justice as Desert: Distributive justice and desert, Alistair M. MacLeod; Justice and desert in liberal theory, Samuel Scheffler; On the comparative element of justice, Owen McLeod; Equality and desert, Shelly Kagan. Part VI Feminists and Other Critics: Humanity before justice, T.D. Campbell; Justice and gender, Susan Moller Okin; The challenge of care to idealizing theories of distributive justice, Anca Gheaus; Liberal and socialist egalitarianism, Kai Nielsen. Part VII Ideal and Non-Ideal Justice: Justice in ideal theory: a refutation, Colin Farrelly; 'Ideal theory' as ideology, Charles W. Mills; What's ideal about ideal theory?, Zofia Stemplowska; Name index.