Review of Justice readings for final

Review of Justice readings for final - Review Our thinkers...

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Review: Our thinkers discussed along the following lines of inquiry 1. What approach to ethical reasoning does this thinker take? 2. What is justice? 3. What is the self that seeks this justice? 4. What type of government is consistent with this self? Part A: The Neutralizers (rights-based approaches vs. teleological approaches. These thinkers try to avoid deciding what is the appropriate use of liberty) Libertarians Rawlsians Part B: Not-that-neutral neutralizers (rights-based approach that is not neutral on the status of the subject: these thinkers have a definite opinion on what counts as liberty) Kant Locke Part C: Not-at-all neutral theorists (good vs. right. These thinkers insist that freedom is less important than doing good/well.) Bentham , Mill MacIntyre, Walzer, Sandel Aristotle Libertarians: Free to be myself Rights-based approach Justice consists in owning fully and completely whatever it is you have a) in your possession justly (justice in transfer), so long as it b) was acquired justly (justice in acquisition) Consistent with the above, we are all owners of ourselves. Our rights are based in this freedom of the individual. The state’s function is only to assure that each of us acquires, transfers, and maintains possessions in a manner consistent with the freedom of others. Questions for libertarians: 1. Can we agree on what rights we have, or is the libertarian state always violating someone’s conception of their own liberty? (internal criticism) As Bentham says, isn’t this an anarchic fallacy? 2. If we all have rights and must respect one another’s rights, doesn’t that mean that it is okay for us to do harm to ourselves and to the community? But isn’t it absurd to think that our policies should be aimed at maintaining freedom, when instead we desire happiness and public flourishing? 3. Can a theory of justice based on the notion that “life’s unfair” and that some of us luck out in the lottery of life be…just? Rawlsian equal rights egalitarians: overcoming natural differences Rights-based approach Formula one, Justice as fairness: Justice consists (first) in recognizing the basic equal rights of all persons, and (second) tolerates inequalities only so long as they contribute to the advantage of the less well off (difference principle).
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