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Justice

Views from the Social Sciences

  • Ronald L. Cohen

Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Ronald L. Cohen
    Pages 1-9
  3. Allen Buchanan, Deborah Mathieu
    Pages 11-45
  4. Stephen T. Worland
    Pages 47-84
  5. Arthur DiQuattro
    Pages 85-116
  6. Steve Rytina
    Pages 117-151
  7. Lita Furby
    Pages 153-203
  8. Laura Nader, Andrée Sursock
    Pages 205-233
  9. Karol Soltan
    Pages 235-268
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 269-283

About this book

Introduction

Ronald L. Cohen Justice is a central moral standard in social life. It is invoked in judging individual persons and in judging the basic structure of societies. It has been described as akin to a "human hunger or thirst" (Pascal, Pensees, cited in Hirschman, 1982, p. 91), "more powerful than any physical hunger, and endlessly resilient" (Pitkin, 1981, p. 349). The most prominent contemporary theory of justice proceeds from the claim that justice is "the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is systems of thought" (Rawls, 1971, p. 3). However, as the following chapters demonstrate, justice has a complex and controversial history. If, as has been claimed, justice is a central category of human thought and a central aspect of human motivation, can it also be the case that to invoke justice is no more than "banging on the table: an emotional expression which turns one's demand into an absolute postulate" (Ross, 1959, p. 274)? If justice is the first virtue of social institutions, can the concept of social or economic justice at the same time be "entirely empty and meaningless" so that any attempt to employ it is "either thoughtless or fraudulent" (Hayek, 1976, pp. xi-xii)? In a formal sense, justice concerns ensuring that each person receives what she or he is due.

Keywords

emotion Institution Moral

Editors and affiliations

  • Ronald L. Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Bennington CollegeBenningtonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-3511-3
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag US 1986
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4899-3513-7
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4899-3511-3
  • Series Print ISSN 1572-1906
  • Buy this book on publisher's site