ASK A QUESTION

RECENT RESPONSES

CONCEPT CLOUD






  • Panelist Login

Would a just world be one where people get what they need, or one where people get what they deserve?

August 9, 2012

Response from Jonathan Westphal on August 9, 2012
In the context of crime, justice is getting what one deserves (twenty years hard labour, hanging, if anyone deserves hanging), and so criminal justice includes retributive justice. In the social context, since there is the assumption that everyone deserves to be treated as a human being should be treated, justice can assume the form of the meeting of basic needs, for example housing and education. This is sometimes called distributive justice. The two forms of justice are complementary rather than inconsistent, however. What underlies both is the concept of desert. Some conservative thinkers find the whole idea of distributive justice a confused one. To think that a way of cutting a cake is unfair makes complete sense, because there is a central distribution. But the world of labour is not like this, and the concept of fairness has no application; there is no cake waiting to be divided if I do no work, these thinkers say. Liberal thinkers, on the other hand, work from the admittedly abstract concept of the sum total of human goods.


Print PRINT Send2friends E-MAIL
E-MAIL THIS ENTRY

Recipient's e-address: required
(separate multiple e-addresses with commas)
Your name: required
Your e-address: required

Track TRACK

TRACK THIS ENTRY

If you provide your e-mail address, you will be automatically notified whenever this question receives a response. Your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose, and it will not be given or sold to anyone.

E-mail:

SHARE
SHARE THIS ENTRY

del.icio.us
Digg! Digg
Facebook
Twitter
reddit
StumbleUpon